Class of ’48 ½ bursary unclaimed

$50,000 up for grabs for third straight year

The Queen’s University class of 1948 ½ has a problem. It has money to give away but no one is taking it.

A $50,000 bursary set up by the class of 1948 ½—the only class in Queen’s history to graduate in three and a half years instead of four—is waiting for someone to apply for it. Class member Jack Billingsley is concerned that a student somewhere is missing out on a terrific opportunity.

The bursary was established by the class of Science 1948 ½ on the occasion of its 50th reunion in 1998. It is awarded on the basis of financial need to a mature student entering the first-year program in the faculty of applied science who has been out of any kind of school for at least three years. The four-year bursary rises in value per year, from $11,000 in the first year to $15,000 in the fourth.

“The person they had lined up this year chose to go somewhere else for personal reasons, and there’s no one else lined up to take it,” Billingsley said.

The criteria for the bursary was based on the experiences of the class of 1948 ½ , which was comprised of Second World War veterans who graduated in September 1948 instead of the spring of 1949.

“We had three significant things,” Billingsley told the Kingston Whig-Standard last year. “One, we were older; two, most of us were married and had children—I had four children while I was going to Queen’s—and three, we had no money.”

Billingsley, who is a retired engineer residing in Delaware, said that people aren’t applying for the bursary because they don’t know about it.

“What we didn’t realize was that if you’re out of school for three years, working as a draftsman or a technician, you don’t know there’s a $50,000 bursary waiting for you.

“If you don’t know the carrots are there, you don’t look for [them].”

People interested in applying for the bursary should contact Theresa Alm, the associate university registrar for student awards at Queen’s.

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