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Through the Years: a Celebration of Celebrations John R. Rhodes Scholarship Virtual Premiere Supports Algoma U Students

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON; December 3, 2020): As part of Algoma University’s ongoing efforts to provide much needed financial support to outstanding students, the John R. Rhodes Scholarship Planning Committee came up with a unique way to ensure this important annual fundraising event was able to proceed. 

Last night, a special virtual premiere, “Through the Years; a Celebration of Celebrations;” featuring distinguished honourees from the past 19 years, was presented to a special group of distinguished guests and supporters of Algoma U. Attendees were treated to this exclusive premiere from the comfort of their own homes as they looked back through time to honour those who have given so much of their lives to build community, help others, and seek to shape the next generation of leaders. Each guest received a special premiere package with access to online viewing, an audience gift bag, and a commemorative souvenir booklet.

Thanks to the support of our generous sponsors, donors and ticket purchasers, the “Through the Years” virtual premier raised over $50,000 to support the John R. Rhodes Scholarship and the Emergency Bursary.

“Seeing this year’s event come to fruition speaks to how our community continues to come together to support those in need,” shared Asima Vezina, President and Vice-Chancellor. “This has been an incredibly challenging time for students, many who have not yet recovered from the financial losses of layoffs and many of their families now struggling to support their children’s dreams of a university degree. These scholarships matter, often serving as the catalyst for students obtaining a university degree. I want to thank everyone who supported this virtual event. Your generosity during this time is gratefully appreciated – from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”    

The John R. Rhodes Scholarship was established in 1979 thanks to generous contributions from friends and family of the late John R. Rhodes. The prestigious scholarship, valued at $3,000, is offered to a high school graduate who embodies the integrity, leadership, and commitment to community service demonstrated by Rhodes throughout his life as a broadcaster, community member, and politician. The scholarship is renewable for up to three additional years, providing the recipient maintains a minimum average of 80 percent each academic year.

“This year COVID has prevented our ability to gather and impacted many fundraising events.  Knowing how important it is to help students pursue their education, the Planning Committee felt it was critical to find another way to host this annual event. The “Through the Years” virtual premiere allowed us to not only continue the event but also to celebrate those community leaders and trailblazers who have been honourees of our John R. Rhodes Scholarship Dinner for the last 19 years. To hear their stories about why they support this great community was truly special”, said Donna Hilsinger, Chair of the John R. Rhodes Scholarship Planning Committee.

As a holiday treat to our entire community, the commemorative video will be released to the general public on the Algoma University website in the upcoming weeks. 

This year’s scholarship recipient, Isabella DiBerardino, is a first-year Biology student from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Isabella, graduated from the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Korah Collegiate where she assumed a range of student leadership roles including serving as Student Trustee with the Algoma District School Board.

For further information about the John R. Rhodes Scholarship or other scholarship opportunities at Algoma University, please contact Bev Teller, CFRE, Alumni & Development Officer, at 705-949-2301, Ext. 4125, or email [email protected]

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