The Summerlee Humanitarian Scholarships are dedicated in the name of the seventh vice-chancellor of the University of Guelph, Dr. Alastair Summerlee. These scholarships reward students who have significantly engaged in humanitarian issues of global importance and provide them with a further opportunity to continue their work and build connections that lead to lasting change.
Five undergraduate scholarships will be available each year to students in any program with no more than 17.0 credits completed who have demonstrated a commitment to humanitarian efforts including but not limited to those affecting refugees, displaced persons, and populations affected by conflict and natural disasters through volunteer positions, prior employment and/or extra-curricular activities; and who wish to expand their humanitarian efforts internationally to either assist or advocate on behalf of these groups and/or participate in a conference dealing with these issues.
“If we can encourage and support our students’ efforts in helping those around them, I think we’ll be able to create a climate in our country where the plight of fellow human beings, no matter their race, religion, or creed, will matter to those who can improve it.”
Roa’a Hamed, 4th year Biological Science student ~ 2016 Award Recipient ~
Interested students should apply by March 1st to Student Financial Services with a letter describing i) how their past activities significantly furthered humanitarian efforts (maximum 500 words) and ii) how they intend to continue to make an impact on a global level (maximum 500 words). The letter must be accompanied by two letters of reference as well as a budget that includes fundraising goals and outlines the cost of their planned international travel and/or conference attendance (if applicable).
Five students will be selected based on their ability to demonstrate significant past humanitarian efforts, potential to make further impact based on their proposed international plans (including budget and fundraising goals), and strength of reference letters. Preference will be for one of these awards to go to a varsity athlete (varsity athletes should self-identify in their letter). While applicants who demonstrate past significant impacts in improving local communities/groups will be considered, preference will be given to applicants with strong previous proven international humanitarian efforts. Recipients must adhere to the University of Guelph’s Safe Travel Policy.
Alastair James Scott Summerlee, FCAHS, LLD, BSc, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS
Former President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Guelph, Canada
Professor Biomedical Sciences
A passionate humanitarian, dedicated teacher, and internationally renowned researcher, Alastair Summerlee served as president of the University of Guelph in 2003-2014. During his tenure as president, Summerlee oversaw major expansion of the University, with more than $1 billion of new and renovated space and successfully led the largest capital campaign in the history of the University. He spent six years on the board of the World University Service of Canada where he became involved in humanitarian issues in the refugee camps in Kenya.
He championed hunger and poverty alleviation strategies and galvanized the community at the University of Guelph to take action. He has been part of the international movement to unite universities worldwide in fighting hunger and poverty known as the PUSH Initiative (President’s United to Solve Hunger) and was the International Quality of Life Laureate in 2012. In receipt of a number of other awards and honours, Summerlee is currently working with for Lucky Iron Fish Inc. a spin-off from his research activities that has the potential to improve the health and livelihoods of 3.5 billion people suffering from iron deficiency. He has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters, written about teaching and teaching practice, advocated in the media for better conditions for people in refugee camps and is regularly invited to speak on teaching, research, community engagement and fund-raising.