12 highlights from our year

Expanding EDII financial aid

In support of Smith’s ongoing commitment to improving access to business education for under-represented communities, three new undergraduate admissions awards were established in 2021.

In alignment with our Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenization (EDII) Strategy and Action Plan, the Development and Alumni Engagement team at Smith launched a focused giving effort to increase the amount of available need-based and merit-based financial aid available to students from under-represented groups and encourage increased diversity within the Commerce program.

Thanks to the generosity and support of Smith donors, the following awards were made available to eligible undergraduate students at Smith:

Wright Family Award

Established by Susan and Jay Wright, BCom’81, this award was created to increase the representation of Indigenous business leaders in corporate Canada. The award is given on the basis of demonstrated financial need and academic achievement to students entering their first year of the Commerce program. First preference is given to Indigenous students, followed by Canadians who self-identify as Black or racialized students. The award is renewable for three subsequent years provided a satisfactory academic average is maintained each year and financial need remains evident. 

Commerce Oportunidad Award

This award was established by an anonymous donor—a Latin American immigrant to Canada whose life was changed through education, and who has had a long career in the finance industry. It is awarded on the basis of financial need and academic achievement to students entering their first year of the Commerce program. Preference is given to students who self-identify as being Latin American. The award is renewable for three subsequent years provided a satisfactory academic average is maintained and financial need

Darren N. Costen Award

Established by Smith’s new Dean, Wanda Costen, and named in honour of her son, this award aims to help address the under-representation of Black students within the Commerce program and to alleviate the economic strain faced by students who are the first generation in their family to attend university. It is awarded on the basis of financial need and academic achievement to students entering their first year of the Commerce program. First preference is given to Canadians who self-identify as Black, followed by students who are the first generation in their families to attend post-secondary school.

As part of its EDII Strategic Action Plan, Smith aims to raise $10 million in new gifts for student financial aid by 2023.