Dr. Jane Williamson, Foundation Board Member
Photo: Dr. John Harrison, Nicole Chan – 2017 recipient of the Mark Harrison Scholarship, Dr. Mark Harrison.
Students at St John’s College are fortunate to be able to access a suite of scholarships, bursaries and prizes. These awards reward academic excellence, recognise cultural and sporting skills and provide support for students who might otherwise not be able to attend the University.
It was pleasing that over 90 applications for awards were received from students continuing or commencing at St John’s in the academic year 2017 and over 55 awards were made, including some for academic excellence that did not require application.
Over the years, the Awards Program has been substantial and generous but, with changing leadership, it needed to be revisited and clarified. The Scholarships Committee, comprising the Warden and a representative from each of the Foundation and the College Council addressed these concerns. A consolidated register of awards has been compiled; the value of each award has been identified for the next three years and the processes of application and selection have been streamlined and rendered transparent.
Recipients of awards in 2017 have been fulsome in their thanks to Donors, the Foundation and the College. Importantly, the value of the awards goes beyond the financial support that is provided. Some recipients note that the awards have encouraged them to contribute to the College community both now and in the future. Others point to the way that the awards attract the ‘brightest and the best’ to the College and how this produces a rich, vibrant and diverse community from which everybody benefits. Some other recipients are grateful that their awards enable them to call College ‘home’ and they appreciate that life at College has assisted them to mature as young adults. As one young undergraduate put it: ‘I am so thankful for the assistance this scholarship has given me to spend one more magical year here’.
Of course there is more to be done to expand the Awards Program and to increase the value of the awards. As costs of attendance at university increase and competition in the student ‘housing’ market becomes more intense, it will be important that St John’s students have a viable and valuable Awards Program.
Please look at St John’s Awards Program on the College website and consider how you might contribute to its expansion and improvement.
Dr. Jane Williamson (B.Econ, BA, MA, PhD) is a current Foundation Board Member and College Council Representative. Dr Williamson is a former Principal of The Women’s College within the University of Sydney (2008-2013). Prior to that she had a long career as an academic at QUT. When she left that institution in 2007, she occupied the position of Executive Director, Northern Campuses.
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