Johnson Scholarship Secured
April 11, 2008
The Johnson Scholarship Foundation, a Florida-based, private foundation, has committed $750,000 to Dalhousie University over five years, but with a catch: Dal has to raise matching funds.
When Dalhousie successfully raises its share, there will be an endowment of $1.5-million to support students with disabilities. This would generate about $70,000 per year in scholarships.
“We like to create change for institutions, and help students change and grow,” says Malcolm Macleod, President of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation.
“A challenge of this kind does a couple of things. It signifies the institution’s commitment to the cause. We know that Dalhousie is very serious about this; it’s willing to get those matching funds. We also like to act as a catalyst, to leverage our funds in order to get others to rally around the cause,” he says. “Ultimately, it’s about helping students to get the education they want and deserve.”
The Johnson Scholarship Foundation focuses on helping people with disabilities and those who are disadvantaged because of social or economic circumstances. It has chosen to focus its philanthropic efforts on education as a source of empowerment for individuals.
Receiving assistance like the Johnson Scholarship will make students with disabilities have an even more rewarding experience at Dalhousie, says Duncan MacLellan, a commerce student. He has a severe form of Attention Deficit Disorder and needs extra time to complete course work and exams.
“I have benefited from supports and accommodations at Dal, all of which have allowed me to take the time I needed to focus on my studies,” he says. In his fourth year, he still takes his exams in the Student Accessibility Services office. He says the SAS office provided tremendous support to him at Dal, so much so that he now gives back by serving on the proctoring team that helps administer these exams.
“I was drawn to doing this because I realized how important having someone there to administer these tests is and I wanted to help out,” he says.