King’s graduate in the running for global McCall MacBain Scholarships

King's graduate in the running for global McCall MacBain Scholarships

A University of King’s College graduate is a finalist for the McCall MacBain Scholarships, Canada’s largest leadership-based scholarships for master’s and professional studies.

The scholarships are the result of a landmark $200 million gift in 2019 by John and Marcy McCall MacBain, then the largest single donation in Canadian history.

Designed to encourage purposeful leadership, the scholarships enable students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree at McGill University while participating in mentorship, coaching, and a leadership development program.

Victoria Gibbs, BA’23, from Charlottetown, PEI, is among 91 finalists from around the world. More than 700 Canadians applied for the scholarships, and of those, 159 participated in a first round of regional interviews in November and December.

She will travel to Montreal to attend final interviews in March, with travel expenses covered by the scholarship program. “I’ve only spent a few days in Montreal in the past,” said Victoria. “I am so excited about the prospect of visiting some of the city’s stunning museums and cultural sites, and brushing up on my French!”

Each finalist was chosen based on their character, community engagement, leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength, and intellectual curiosity.

Victoria studied political science and international development at University of King’s College. She was involved with the student union for three years, most recently serving as president. Victoria also supervised and led after-school activities for elementary students, volunteered with a prison justice clinic, and played competitive softball for three years. She has worked as a team leader at McDonald’s and a forest school. Victoria has an interest in migration and refugee studies.

“It feels surreal to be a finalist for the McCall MacBain Scholarship,” said Victoria. “Something I’ve taken to heart from a young age is that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. I’ve always valued seizing opportunities and taking my shot but I never imagined landing this one.”

“Integrity, kindness, curiosity, and courage are the characteristics we want to see in the next generation of leaders,” said Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain, Chair of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. “By connecting emerging talent to an outstanding graduate education and a community of peers and mentors, we hope to encourage positive leadership for Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the world.”

“More than 300 senior volunteer leaders were involved in selecting this year’s finalists,” said Natasha Sawh, Chief Executive Officer of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. “Our team is very much looking forward to welcoming the finalists – who have already distinguished themselves as the top candidates globally – to Montreal in March. We extend our warmest thanks to the universities that nominated them for this opportunity.”

A cohort of up to 30 McCall MacBain Scholars will be selected after final interviews. Canadian finalists who are not selected for the cohort will be eligible to receive a $10,000 Finalist Award.

Another King’s student was among the top candidates in the McCall MacBain Scholarships selection process. Katie Cheslock is completing a combined honours degree in Contemporary Studies and international development, earned a $5,000 McCall MacBain Regional Award. The Regional Award may be applied to eligible studies at any public university in Canada.

Katie started the mutual aid society, organizes a water sustainability program, and manages finances for the Contemporary Studies Society. Katie also worked part-time for the student union and played varsity volleyball. She is originally from Chelsea, Que., and has been involved for over 16 years with a canoe club, first as a participant and later as a coach and programs coordinator. Katie is applying for law school.

Applications will open in June 2024 for the 2025 cohort. In addition to the 30 fully funded McCall MacBain Scholarships each year, up to 100 additional awards, valued at $5,000 to $20,000, are offered to candidates. More information about the McCall MacBain Scholarships can be found at mccallmacbainscholars.org.

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