Maggie Fyfe doesn’t have any doubt that she is where she is supposed to be—at King’s, living in Alex Hall, and in the Foundation Year Program (FYP).
“King’s is such a great fit for me as a student and a person. There is nothing I would change,” she says.
It almost feels like fate brought her to King’s, Fyfe thinks. But more on that in a minute.
Fyfe is this year’s recipient of the Carrie and Ralph Wright Memorial Scholarship. It was established by their daughter and King’s alumna Judith Kaye Wright, BA’64, through her generous bequest. It is valued as CAD $39,000 over four years allowing the recipient a chance to experience all that King’s has to offer without giving the cost of tuition and books a second thought.
“It allows me to focus on my studies and make the most of this generous gift and to honour the Wrights’ memory. I feel so grateful for this amazing gift from Judith and her parents and King’s.”
Grateful, and still a little gob-smacked since learning she is the recipient in October 2021.
“It was such a surprise to win the scholarship. I was shocked! I had come home to Ottawa for Thanksgiving at my parents’ place. I was sitting in the kitchen with my dog and my mom and I saw the email. I suggested to my mom that we get my dad to join us because I just got this letter. So we were all together and I opened it. It was pretty exciting but we didn’t have time to celebrate because I was flying back to Halifax that afternoon. But we will celebrate!”
Be it fate or coincidence, there were signs that King’s was the obvious place for Fyfe to be.
For instance, there was the inaugural King’s essay-writing contest for high school students. Fyfe entered and in early 2021 was named one of two winners, along with Amy Kay Partridge. Students had to answer the question “What makes a book a classic?” Fyfe chose to write about Sophocles’ Antigone.
“I used Antigone as an example of a classic text because it is still politically relevant today.”
When she got to King’s she discovered that the King’s Theatrical Society was reviving the time honoured Classics in the Quad and was looking for students to act in the outdoor production of, you guessed it, Antigone.
“I had done a lot of theatre in high school so when I saw that there were auditions for the production of Antigone I went for it. I was part of the Greek Chorus. I knew the text from my essay. It was just so fitting.”
Writing academic papers, reading voraciously, these are two of the things Fyfe loves to do. It is no surprise then that she plans on making English her major. Judith Wright, whose bequest launched the scholarship, also majored in English. She, like Fyfe, also lived in Alex Hall.
While English is her chief pursuit, Fyfe also wants to do Contemporary Studies or Early Modern Studies so that she can continue to have classes at King’s. King’s, it turns out is very much like Elmwood, the school she attended in Ottawa.
“They are both small, tight knit communities. So it was an easy transition for me. I still get the kind of support I got from my teachers at Elmwood from the professors at King’s.”
Friends are important to Fyfe. She admits to being nervous coming to King’s, wondering if she would make any. It took less than a week to solve that little issue. Fyfe found a community of like-minded people, friends, all of whom share her passions. They talk endlessly about what they have learned, what they are reading.
“I love sitting in the lectures beside my friends where we easily share what we are learning. If I miss something for instance they’ll show me what they have written down and I would do the same for them. It is so supportive. We had a lecture on Aristotle and what he had to say about friendship, like what makes a true friend. It made me think about the friends I have already made at King’s.”
Fyfe imagines herself in the future being an academic, maybe a librarian, perhaps an editor or an author. She is keeping her options open she says. It just has to have something to do with reading. And of course, writing. But for now she is content to gobble up FYP and just enjoy this new world she’s landed in.
“One of my friends is in a room in Alex Hall that faces out onto the Quad. I love to just sit there sometimes and watch people walking around. It’s being with friends and talking—I think, this is where I am meant to be. It is so beautiful.”