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Western University Be Extraordinary The Campaign For Western

Students the highest priority for The Western Fund

October 22, 2009

Philippe Belley, a PhD student in Economics, appreciates that others have made an investment in his future.

Phillippe BelleyThe PhD student was the recipient of the Paul Greenberg and Marla Choslovsky Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) last year. Philippe says the $15,000 represents almost half of his income last year.

“It helped me maintain a certain standard of living,” says the soon-to-be, first-time father who lives with his wife in an apartment near campus. “I didn’t have to worry about taking a job off-campus while I was focusing on my research.”

Philippe’s research is in labour economics, with a focus on educational choices of young adults in Canada and the U.S.

“There was already ample evidence that youths from wealthier families are more likely to pursue a post-secondary education. Our findings regarding more recent cohorts of students suggest this is partly because students from poor families can’t afford it,” he says. “It implies that grants and scholarships can induce a young adult into attending a postsecondary institution. So, donations are important, whether large or smaller gifts, because they can help the University provide funding to attract and keep students who might otherwise not be able to attend. This is very important because often more educated individuals experience more rewarding careers and better health, among other things.”

Philippe notes the scholarship has been well invested in his education. He will finish his thesis and graduate by the end of the summer 2010, but is already applying for jobs with the hopes of getting an academic position at a university.

OGS/ST awards are funded by generous donors to Western, many of whom contributed to The Western Fund this past year. More than $500,000 from The Western Fund was allocated to University priorities in 2008-09, providing Western with resources to seize emerging opportunities like the OGS/STgovernment matching fund.

The Western Fund for 2008-09 also supported:

  • Athletic Scholarships
  • Scholars Elective Programs
  • Engineering for the Lassonde Scholarships
  • London Music Scholarship Fund
  • Biochemistry for Research
  • Western Fund endowment at Foundation Western

This article appeared in the 2009 edition of Annual Impact
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