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Lightening student debt

June 27, 2011

Lightening student debt
Gracey Family Continuing Scholarship recipients Joanne Colling (left) and Tyler Marve (right), met donor Don Gracey and his daughter, Jaklin.

Tyler Marve grew up in a lower income, single-parent family. While many would be discouraged by increasing tuition costs and living expenses, Tyler never gave up hope. He sought support through Western’s student awards program, receiving the Gracey Family Continuing Scholarship.

Born in Flint, Michigan, Tyler and his family moved to Canada and settled in the town of Tillsonburg, Ontario where he attended both primary and secondary school. Tyler feels privileged to have the opportunity to come to Western.

“If it were not for loans, grants and other forms of financial assistance like the scholarship from the Gracey family, my education would have ended after high school,” says Tyler. “I am forever thankful to them for lightening my student debt.”

He says that their generosity has helped him overcome some of the monetary hurdles preventing many students from realizing their dreams. Tyler had the opportunity to meet the Gracey family and thanked them in person.

“It was nice to thank the people from whom the award came and explain the excitement and relief that overcame me upon receiving my grant. Hopefully by showing my appreciation and telling the Gracey family about the good resulting from their generosity, I have inspired them to continue to help other students as much as they helped me.”

The Gracey Family Continuing Scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate student entering second year of Honors Political Science in the Faculty of Social Science who achieves a minimum of 85% academic average. The scholarship continues for two more years, provided the recipient remains in an Honors Political Science program and maintains an 80% average and full-time course load. The $1,000 scholarship is made possible by a generous gift from Don Gracey and Nancy Coldham, who also established the Cecil G. Gracey Memorial Continuing Scholarship through Foundation Western.

“I believe that awareness of how political systems and institutions work and respect for them have deteriorated markedly. At the same time, as recent events have demonstrated, their reform is overdue,” notes Don Gracey. “Nancy and I wanted to help students who are interested in such things to expand their knowledge – and, hopefully, some day be able to apply it.”

Tyler is thankful for the support he’s received and feels coming to Western was one of the best decisions of his life.

“In addition to the knowledge gained from three years of study, I’ve made lasting friendships in and outside of the classroom that will extend far beyond my time at this institution.”

After graduating with a BA in Political Science, Tyler plans to pursue a law degree. Tyler has been set on studying law ever since he participated in his high school co-op program at a local law firm in Tillsonburg. He plans to practise criminal law as a defence attorney representing clients who are struggling financially.

This article appeared in the 2011 edition of Student Awards Recipient Report
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