Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

First Recipients Selected for the David Bernatchez Memorial Bursary

June 24th, 2022
Katie Murphy and Matthew MacLeod

The selection committee for the David Bernatchez Memorial Bursary is pleased to announce that the first two recipients are Matthew MacLeod and Katie Murphy.

Matthew MacLeod is from Pictou County, Nova Scotia. He has demonstrated leadership qualities as captain of his high school rugby team in grades 11 and 12 and through involvement in his school and his community, working as a recreation leader and volunteer. Rachel Feddema, niece of Dave Bernatchez and member of the selection committee, noted that “Mathew has a number of qualities that are similar to Dave such as a passion for sports, making a positive impact in the community, and leadership through kindness and respect.”

Katie Murphy is from Millvale, PEI. Katie demonstrated leadership qualities in multiple varsity sports as a leader in her student council and in making a positive impact in her community. She conveyed personal resolve and a commitment to serving others. Mark Gallant, member of the selection committee offered that ‘Katie’s commitment to her fellow students and community are what Dave would want to see. Award winners should be leaders and serve as a citizen of the world. We believe Katie will carry on those values and reflect back the characteristics that made Dave a friend to all who knew him.’

Based on the fundraising success achieved, the committee was able to offer a male and female award in the first year. A single award will be given in future years. Ron Cooper, Chair of the fundraising campaign offered that “The support we have witnessed is a testament to the impact Dave had on so many and we are thrilled with the legacy we have created. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to this bursary.”

The committee had a very difficult decision. Of 25 applicants, a short list of five individuals clearly demonstrated that they met all of the selection criteria. Ranked in priority order, the selection criteria include demonstration of leadership qualities, community service, financial need and a commitment to volunteer or play for the male or female rugby team. Larry MacEachern, chair of the selection committee said “We were blown away by the leadership qualities, accomplishments and values of all short-listed candidates. It’s a reflection of the quality of students attracted to StFX and in turn to this bursary. We could see aspects of Dave in each of the candidates.”

A Celebration of Life for Dave will be held at the fall Homecoming (October 14-16). We are also hoping to recognize our bursary recipients that same weekend.

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