A B.C.-based mining company led by two Queen’s alumni has donated $500,000 to the University.
The money, to be spread over a five-year period by Endeavour Silver Corporation, will fund Queen’s students in geological science and geological engineering at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Seventy per cent of the donated money will go towards establishing an endowment fund for the scholarships, while 15 per cent will go toward the undergraduate and graduate scholarships for the first five years.
“There is a shortage of people in the mining industry, and [the scholarship] is one way of encouraging people to pursue that industry,” said Godfrey Walton, president of Endeavour Silver. “The idea is that the scholarship will continue well beyond our lifetimes.”
Selection is based on academic excellence and interest in geological engineering, economic geology and mineral exploration.
Walton, MSc ’78, said the idea is to create self-sustaining scholarship programs for Queen’s.
While pursuing a graduate degree in geology, Walton became a TA for a third-year geological studies class. Bradford Cook, BSc ’76, chairman and CEO of Endeavour Silver, was one of his students. “Queen’s is an importance place for us,” he said. “Because of that initial work we did together at Queen’s we became partners and have worked together for the past 18 years.”
Despite the donation, Walton said the company isn’t involved with the selection process or how the scholarship is distributed.
Due to its close associations to the company, the University of British Columbia will also receive a donation from Endeavour Silver Corporation of $500,000 over five years. It will be open to students pursuing degrees in both Earth sciences and ocean sciences.
This is the first time Endeavour Silver has donated funds to create a scholarship program for university students.
“We’re glad to be able to help the next generation of Earth scientists, geologists and engineers,” Walton said, “especially at Queen’s.”
Fifteen per cent of the fund will also will go towards creating a Geology Teaching Assistant Fund.
The fund will provide TAs a yearly allowance to help provide for their living expenses.
Queen’s geological sciences professor Robert Dalrymple said the TA program within geological sciences and geological engineering is unique.
“We basically have these competitive TA positions that go to our best TAs,” Dalrymple said.
Dalrymple said that every $2,500 received can fund a TA in a course.
There are just under 100 TAs in the two programs he said. Almost half of these are paid through funds like the Geology Teaching Assistant Fund.
“We would have basically half the number of TAs that we have … if our corporate sponsors or alumni weren’t providing the funding,” he said. “I don’t know anyone else in the world that’s doing this.”
— With files from Katherine Fernandez-Blance
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