The University of King’s College announced on Dec. 5 a $2 million endowment to establish the Donald R. Sobey Scholarships.
Starting in Sept. 2014, three incoming students will each be awarded a minimum of $10,000. As the endowment grows, more scholarships may be made available in succeeding years.
“This is a great moment for King’s,” wrote university president George Cooper in a campus-wide email. “And Donald Sobey’s gift honours our reason for being: you, our students. Already we attract some of the best liberal arts and journalism students in Canada and these permanently endowed scholarships will ensure that we continue to do so.”
Donald Sobey was not at Thursday’s announcement but his son, Rob, spoke on his father’s behalf.
The donation is the largest gift ever made by an individual to the university, coinciding with the institution’s 225th anniversary next fall.
The choice to donate a protected scholarship to the university is very important to the Sobey family, who has benefited over 60 students through their donations to Queen’s University.
“More and more we’re supporting not capital gifts, but scholarships, because it affects the customer of the university. It affects the students directly and it helps them access higher education,” says Rob Sobey.
“There’s nothing wrong with putting a name on a building and what not, and that helps the students, but we feel that there is more direct positive links with the students by helping them fund their education right up front.”
The scholarships will be open to Canadian students with a strong academic background, who have proven leadership skills and involvement in their school and/or community. Preference will be given to students from Atlantic Canada.
Donald Sobey received an honourary doctorate from the University of King’s College last spring.