Where to Give

Best in the West Student Awards

richard and carolina walls

Recruiting and supporting top students from Western Canada

Being a university student can be expensive. Between tuition, housing, books and other supplies, it can cost a small fortune to attend the school of your dreams – and that financial strain can become overwhelming if you have to relocate to a new province for your studies.

Thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Richard Walls, PhD’78, DSc'13, and Carolina J. Walls, BSc’85, DSc'13, McGill has moved much closer to achieving its ambition that every academically qualified student is able to obtain a first-rate education. best in the west logo

The Calgary-based couple dedicated $1 million in 2008 to create and endow the Best in the West Student Awards program, designed to strengthen McGill’s ability to attract and retain top undergraduate students from British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Their gift established the Dr. Richard and Carolina J. Walls Best in the West Scholarships in Science, for outstanding undergraduates from the three western provinces entering their first year of a full-time degree program in the Faculty of Science, as well as the Best in the West Scholarship in Earth and Planetary Sciences, for an exemplary second-year student.

“We are proud to offer Western Canadian students the opportunity to study at Canada’s most prominent and internationally recognized university,” says Carolina Walls.

The need remains great

Today, the Best in the West Awards program continues to thrive, thanks in large part to the generosity of other Western Canadians who have stepped forward to create additional scholarships and bursaries. And with more than 1,600 students from Canada’s three western provinces receiving letters of acceptance from McGill each year, the need for Best in the West Scholarships remains great.

Celebrating 10 years of Best in the West

Over the past 10 years, more than 230 recipients have benefited from Best in the West scholarships and bursaries and have helped to strengthen McGill’s historic ties to Western Canada. Recipients include Anna Zarzycki and Taylor Salisbury, who spoke to us about how the support enabled them to pursue their academic aspirations. Read more >

Supporting the Best in the West

students in library

There are many ways to support the Best in the West awards program. You can either create your own award or designate gifts of any size to the Best in the West General Scholarship Fund.

Endowing a Best in the West student award

This is a permanent way for you to make a difference in the lives of generations of Western Canadian students to come. Endowed gifts exist in perpetuity, as only the investment income is spent each year. Any remaining funds are returned to the invested principal.

Best in the West Endowed Major Entrance Scholarship: $100,000

Best in the West Endowed Entrance Bursary for incoming students based on financial need: $100,000

Best in the West Endowed Entrance Scholarship for incoming students based on outstanding academic achievement: $60,000

Directly funding a Best in the West student award

With a leadership gift to the Annual Fund over several years, you can create either an Entrance Scholarship or an Entrance Bursary, with the same naming opportunities as mentioned above. Western Canadian students will benefit from the funds throughout the duration of the gift.

Direct-Funded Entrance Scholarship: $24,000 ($6,000 x 4 years)

Direct-Funded Entrance Bursary: $20,000 ($5,000 x 4 years)

Designating your gift to the Best in the West General Scholarship Fund

Gifts of any size may be designated to the Best in the West General Scholarship Fund. Your gift will be combined with others to create a suite of scholarships and bursaries to support Western Canadian students who wish to study at McGill. Best in the West General Scholarship Fund Gifts of any size are appreciated.

For more information on how you can contribute to Best in the West, please contact Fazila Lakhani at 514-398-7686, or fazila.lakhani [at] mcgill.ca.