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Bringing students and donors together

April 2, 2015

Sharon Edmondson, MBA’00 (left), and Stephen Edmondson (right), join first-year medical students Jessica Bryce (second to left) and Ramona Neferu at the inaugural Spring Scholarship & Awards Brunch in London on March 29, 2015.

First-year Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry students Jessica Bryce and Ramona Neferu balance their academics with community involvement and a passion for sports – including a shared love for running and inner tube water polo.

These characteristics have earned them the David S. Edmondson Memorial Award, named for the late David Edmondson, BSc’11, a Western biology major and medical school hopeful. Edmondson was a well-rounded student who balanced his academics with volunteer work at London Health Sciences Centre and involvement in Western’s intramural soccer, basketball and hockey teams.

“I am passionate about many of the same things [as David was], so it is wonderful to be recognized with this award,” said Jessica.  

On Sunday, March 29, Jessica and Ramona were honoured to personally meet the award’s donors and Edmondson’s parents, Sharon, MBA’00, and Stephen Edmondson, at Western’s inaugural Spring Scholarship & Awards Brunch at Windermere Manor in London.

The reception brought together more than 80 donors and student award recipients and provided an opportunity for students to show their appreciation and give a personal thanks, while also providing donors with an opportunity to see first-hand how their support is making a difference in the lives of current students.

“I truly appreciate the opportunity to meet Jessica and Ramona face-to-face and I hope to be able to do it again with future award recipients,” said Stephen Edmondson. “It gives Sharon and I a great feeling to support such wonderful, promising students in their chosen field and future careers.”

Frances Vitali (left), joins fourth-year medical student Amelia Nunn at the Spring Scholarship & Awards Brunch at Windermere Manor in London on March 29, 2015. Amelia is the recipient of an award supported by Vitali.

Amelia Nunn, a fourth-year Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry student and recipient of the Susan Vitali-Lovell Family Medicine Award was also thrilled to attend the event and meet Frances Vitali, BA’91, who, with her late husband Jack Vitali, established the award in memory of their daughter Susan.

“It’s really nice to be able to meet the donors in person and hear the story behind the award,” said Amelia, a Stratford native who hopes to pursue family medicine in a rural community. “This type of support absolutely helps with the financial pressure and because of this I’ve been inspired to donate to a scholarship in the future.”

Seventeen members of the Vitali family are Western graduates, including Frances Vitali, who said the award not only honours her daughter’s memory, but also provides a way to give back to the University. “So many of us benefitted from university, that it’s nice to give back a little of what we have gained.”

Western plans to make the Spring Scholarship & Awards Brunch an annual event.

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