Students at Roseau Valley School at Dominion City have an extra reason to buckle down and get high marks – students here will now have first dibs at a substantial scholarship created by a local farmer.
Last week the University of Winnipeg announced the creation of the Garnet Kyle Scholarship from a substantial donation of $500,000 from Kyle who passed away in 2006.
The Garnet Kyle Scholarship, worth $40,000 will be the largest offered to a Canadian student at the University of Winnipeg and administered as $10,000 per year of studies.
Priority will be given to a student currently attending Roseau Valley School, in Kyle’s hometown of Dominion City. If no one is selected from there, a high school student attending Border Land School Division or Hanover will be considered.
Consideration for the scholarship will be achievement based. To qualify, a student in Grade 12 must have an average of 90 per cent or higher, or, once in university retain a grade point average of four.
Longtime friend of Kyle’s, Taras Sokolyk, said last week that the scholarship is entirely in keeping with his friend’s lifelong efforts to support youth in his community and encourage excellence.
In addition to farming, Kyle was a school board trustee in the Boundary School Division, a councillor in the RM of Franklin and he spent all his life in local politics, including a run at provincial politics as a Conservative candidate in 1973.
In Dominion City, Kyle was active in many community projects including a private venture whereby he constructed, at his own expense, a nine-hole golf course specifically built so that young people could play golf for free.
Free access to Kyle’s golf course continues to this day thanks to donation to a local non-profit organization to continue to cover its maintenance costs.
“Garnet was a tremendous achiever,” said Sokolyk. “He was ahead of his time, and always thinking outside the box. And he had a passion for helping youth all his life.”
Kyle and his wife, who predeceased him, had no children of their own.
The university is matching Kyle’s donation through its Manitoba Scholarship Bursary Initiative for a total of $1 million.
“The Garnet Kyle scholarship recognizes that some of our best and brightest minds and some of our most entrepreneurial citizens come from small towns and close-knit communities where imagination and resilience is fostered,” said Lloyd Axworthy, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg.
“University of Winnipeg is delighted to be able to offer substantive financial support to a rural Manitoba student as a result of this generous donation,” Axworthy said.
The university is additionally beginning consultations with students and administrators at the Roseau Valley School and with the Border Land School Division to examine distance education options and course offerings of interest to Dominion City.
Sokolyk said this will be a tremendous incentive for the youth of the area to work hard and become high achievers. There is no specific career nor a return-of-service agreement tied to receipt of the scholarship.
“Garnet had a passion for excellence and pride in his hometown and his home area,” Sokolyk said. “He certainly had all kinds of opportunities to venture out in the bigger world both in agriculture and politics. We’re hoping that this would be the ongoing legacy of a man who spent his whole life in rural Manitoba. The bright city lights were always there beckoning, but he carried on his whole professional career and retired looking to help his community.” [email protected]
– TARAS SOKOLYK, LONGTIME FRIEND OF THE LATE GARNET KYLE