Donor support provides over 100 student awards annually


Western Engineering News | November 20, 2020

Western Engineering celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of its undergraduate students biannually through its Fall and Spring Awards program. Although in-person celebrations for the annual Fall Awards were cancelled this year due to COVID-19, the community support and students’ resiliency deserves more praise than ever before.

Thanks to the generous support of alumni, foundations, corporate sponsors and donors, Western Engineering granted over 100 awards this year valued at over $250,000 from over 1,700 applications. Student awards are based on academic achievement, financial need and demonstrated leadership and accomplishment.

This year, Western Engineering is proud to introduce two new awards — the Anna Toner Award for Academic Resiliency & Determination and the Engineering BESc Class of 1978 Award.

The Anna Toner Award for Academic Resiliency & Determination was established in honour of a bright, young student dedicated to Environmental Engineering who passed away in 2019. Recognizing Anna’s determination, despite her illness, this annual award honours students who are committed to rising above challenges with passion, and highlights exemplary academic resilience, determination and commitment to their studies.

“Our family, while mourning our loss, is honoured that Western Engineering thought so highly of Anna that they created this legacy in her name. We are grateful to the many donors who have made this award possible, including staff and faculty at the University, and our friends and family. To us, the award shows that Anna's determination and dedication were noticed and valued, and will be remembered.

We hope this award will encourage Engineering students to meet their challenges with confidence and perseverance. We hope the recipients will take pride in knowing that their efforts to overcome their obstacles have been recognized by the Western community.” – Louise and Bruce Toner

The second award introduced this year is the Engineering BESc Class of 1978 Award. This inaugural award was established by the graduates from the BESc Class of 1978 in recognition of their 40th class reunion, and preference is given to a mature undergraduate student who has spent time working or attending a college, trade or technical program prior to attending Western. 

“Hopefully this award will help a deserving student with the high costs of education, making it easier for them to succeed and enjoy their days at Western,” says Class of ’78 graduate David Inkley. “This award represents the successes of the Class of 1978 and our desire to give back and pay it forward to new engineers completing their education.”

Class of ’78 graduate Angelo Ligori added that he hopes “this award will make the recipient as proud as I am to be a Western Engineering graduate.”

For inaugural student recipient Andrew Blommestyn, the Class of 1978 Award had an immediate impact on his education outlook.

“I am honoured that good people such as the Class of 1978 support my education; it drives me to work harder,” says Blommestyn. “The scholarship alleviates the financial burden and makes it easier to be successful, allowing me to focus on school and life without having to work several jobs or secure loans. I am so thankful for that.”

Western Engineering congratulates each of the 2020 award recipients for their passion, hard work and perseverance, and sends a huge thank you to the donors who continue to make these awards possible. The support received from the Western Engineering community each year is remarkable, and the Faculty remains grateful not only for the immense support, but for the opportunity to witness the impact each award has on the students’ education and overall mindset.

For a full list of Western Engineering’s 2020 Fall Awards recipients, click here.