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A lasting impression

by Crystal Lamb | August 31, 2016

A lasting impression
Shaw Communications recently donated $100,000 to establish the Paul W. Robertson Music Scholarship, named for the company’s former Executive Vice-President and President of Shaw Media. Robertson, HBA’77, who passed away in 2014.

Faculty of Music students will soon have the opportunity to benefit from a scholarship program created in memory of an Ivey Business School alumnus who shared in their passion for music.

In honour of this alumnus, Shaw Communications recently donated $100,000 to establish the Paul W. Robertson Music Scholarship, named for the company’s former Executive Vice-President and President of Shaw Media. Robertson, HBA’77, who passed away in 2014. As part of this donation, students have the opportunity to apply for two $5,000 scholarships each year.

“Paul was an extraordinary leader and friend,” said Brad Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, Shaw Communications Inc. “He made a significant difference in this world, and we hope that each scholarship will foster a love for learning in all the recipients.”

The first two $5,000 Paul W. Robertson Music Scholarships will be awarded this fall to two full-time, undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Musical Arts Degree in the Don Wright Faculty of Music who demonstrate academic achievement and strong musical ability.

This gift to Western is one of two scholarship programs Shaw has introduced as a way to celebrate the highly respected figure in the broadcasting industry. The other, an employee benefit program, awards a one-time scholarship of $2,500 to children of Shaw employees attending a post-secondary institution. Since launching the employee program in the fall of 2015, Shaw has already awarded 568 scholarships.

Voice professor Theodore Baerg, Co-ordinator of Operatic Studies, said support like Shaw’s helps to attract talented students and encourages them to pursue their passions in arts-related fields.

“People who graduate with music degrees often end up in music or music-related careers that make a big contribution to our society as teachers or performers. Seeing scholarships like this gives people the courage and a kind of sense of direction to believe that this part of our society has real value and is going somewhere,” he said.

“There is opportunity and availability of careers in this area. A vital part of the fabric of a really vibrant society is a strong commitment and understanding of the arts. Even Mozart developed his skills, was given opportunity and chances that changed his world and that of music for all time.”

Having a well-respected organization like Shaw recognize the value of the music program and the arts in general is also inspiring, said Baerg, who has performed in opera and concert on virtually every major stage in Canada and many in the United States, Europe and Asia, over the course of his long and critically acclaimed career.

“Someone in the corporate world who has the foresight to make this kind of commitment to scholarships for musicians really sees the possibilities of Canada’s young people and for that the recipients will always be grateful and for that the arts community is also grateful.”


This article appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of Impact Western
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