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$1 million gift helps Hamilton’s Westdale students go to Queen’s


Wednesday July 26, 2006, KINGSTON, Ont. -- A $1 million U.S. gift from long-time Queen’s University benefactor, the Melvin R. Goodes Family Foundation, is the basis for an award enabling eligible students from Hamilton’s Westdale Secondary School to attend Queen’s University – just as Mel Goodes himself did in the 1950s.

The donation will help two Queen’s-bound students who can demonstrate academic excellence, leadership qualities, and financial need attend the University each year. If no Westdale student qualifies for the award, it will be extended to students from Hamilton.

“This award ensures that the ties between Westdale Secondary and Queen’s will flourish to the great advantage of our mutual graduates. In turn, the future successes of the award’s recipients will honour the deep commitment Mel Goodes has demonstrated to share the benefits of the Queen’s experience,” says Karen Hitchcock, principal of Queen’s University.

Each successful applicant for the Melvin R. Goodes Entrance Award will receive $12,000 to cover the cost of his or her first year at the University in an Arts and Sciences program, or $15,000 if the student chooses an Applied Science or Commerce program. Students who achieve at the defined academic thresholds will have the award renewed in each subsequent year. Recipients will find out whether they have won the award when they receive their offer of admission from Queen’s.

Westdale Secondary School is the largest in Hamilton – and was the largest school in the Commonwealth when it was built in 1930. Goodes graduated from the inner-city school in 1953 and eventually went on to head Warner-Lambert, a multi-national pharmaceutical company.

“I went to that high school and I benefited myself from an award,” says Goodes, who received an award to the University of Chicago upon graduating from Queen’s. “I got a great deal out of the Queen’s experience and the people there. I wanted to give those from a background similar to mine an opportunity to go to a high quality university.”

While the award Goodes received enabled him to go on to the University of Chicago – for which he is deeply grateful – he lost 51 pounds while he was earning his MBA because he could only afford two meals a day.

“Relentless determination, courage and integrity, along with a vigorous pursuit of learning will produce fulfillment and achievement beyond your wildest dream.” Those are Goodes’ words of wisdom on Westdale’s new Hall of Fame unveiled at its recent 75th anniversary.

Now retired from his long career, Goodes has a history of making generous donations to Queen’s. The University has named the building housing its business school in honour of him and his hard-working parents – both of whom had to drop out of high school to work during the Great Depression.


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