Imagine yourself here.
So beckons the brochure for Western’s Mini-University Summer Program for Indigenous youth, a concept that resonated deeply with Peter Baldwin, BA’62, when looking for a meaningful way to honour his late wife, Margery, BA’63.
“I was very impressed by the idea,” he says of the program offered through Indigenous Services at Western’s Student Development Centre, and one he subsequently chose to support in 2015 through the Margery Baldwin Outreach and Recruitment Fund.
Participants aged 12-18 attend the university for one week, staying in residence and taking part in fun cross-faculty learning activities that integrate and celebrate their culture. Older teens enhance their leadership skills and explore educational opportunities in all areas of study. They also learn about the university application process.
In addition to supporting the Mini-University program, Baldwin also established the Margery Baldwin Memorial Entrance Bursaries for first-year students applying to Western through the Centre’s Access Transition Opportunity program.
Other funds will be devoted to First Nations resources at Western Libraries, including the acquisition of rare materials that will support research and teaching across many academic departments. Additional monies are committed to the Indigenous Services Centre to help break down educational barriers for First Nations students.
Baldwin wanted his gift to help others –something his wife did throughout her life. “Margery would have liked supporting students and giving them the opportunity to attend university,” he said.
Margery, who worked at Western’s registrar’s office for 15 years, was an avid reader, so her family also felt it fitting to direct some of the gift to Western Libraries, with funds earmarked to preserve and strengthen its First Nations scholarly materials collection.
With a lot of consideration, a gift to celebrate one life, has in turn touched the lives of many.