As Kelsey Brown stood at the podium to deliver her speech at this year’s In Memoriam — an annual celebration that pays tribute to the lives of family members and friends by establishing scholarships and bursary endowments in their names — the enormous impact of student endowments became exceedingly apparent as she accepted the Olive Mae Mueller Memorial Bursary and the David G. Tallman Memorial Scholarship.
Brown’s determination to succeed in school comes from her desire to set a good example and provide a better future for her son.
After briefly attending Mount Royal out of high school, Brown took a break from education and experienced what she calls her “education in life.”
As a single mom, Brown struggled to make ends meet — living paycheck to paycheck before deciding to re-embark on her educational journey through post-secondary.
However, this new venture was not without hardships and challenges. Brown struggled to regain her foothold in education while juggling the demands of raising a toddler.
But it was this adversity that became her motivator for success.
Now a student whose name continues to appear on the Dean’s list, Brown’s resilience and hunger for success is unmistakeable.
As Brown completes a Child and Youth Care Counsellor Diploma that will prepare her to transfer into the Social Work Degree program at the University of Calgary, the support of her friends and family, as well as that of complete strangers, continues to humble her.
“Thank you for your time, your consideration of me for this award and allowing me to walk on the shoulders of giants,” says Brown.
Making the connection
In Memoriam is the opportunity for family and friends of loved ones to witness first-hand the impact of their contributions to students like Brown.
“Education was important to David,” explained Gord Tallman, father of David G. Tallman, who Brown’s scholarship honoured.
“It’s important to our family because when we lost David, his widow had a small son of four years old and [she] did not have any post-secondary education. She attended Mount Royal as a widow — a two year social work program — before going to the University of Calgary where she completed her bachelors degree and then got her masters,” says Tallman, explaining the rationale for establishing the scholarship for single parents.
“It [Brown’s speech] made me kind of teary eyed […] but it’s nice to be in a position to be able to help people and remember our son at the same time.”
President David Docherty also took the time to thank those in attendance for their continuous commitment and support to Mount Royal.
“You have chosen to honour your loved ones through memorial endowments at Mount Royal. We sincerely thank you for making this decision, especially because it is often made at a very emotional and trying time in your life,” says Docherty. “Your endowment is a testament of your faith in the potential of our students. We proudly dedicate our Memorial Park to you so that you may always have a tranquil place to visit, to reflect and remember.”
This year’s In Memoriam welcomed nine new honourees whose names will now garnish the walls of the John H. Garden Memorial Park:
Harry G. Schaefer
— Brendan Greenslade, Aug. 30, 2012