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Scholarships established in honour of the Brentwood tragedy victims

University of Calgary scholarships go to Faculty of Arts students Sarah Klym and Ryan Mikalson, along with Shona Murray

Ryan Mikalson, far right, with the Jordan Segura family and Dean of the Faculty of Arts Richard Sigurdson

April 14, 2016

Two years ago, the city of Calgary experienced one of its worst acts of violence when five young people were taken too soon. Through this tragedy, the university and the community came together to honour these remarkable individuals in a number of ways.

Those include UCalgaryStrong as well as three scholarships set up for the three University of Calgary students who lost their lives. The Lawrence Hong Scholarship in Urban Studies, Joshua Hunter Scholarship in Business and Jordan Segura Scholarship in Religious Studies are $1,000 scholarships each for UCalgary students. They are endowed and will be awarded in perpetuity.

“These scholarships are a fitting tribute to Lawrence, Josh and Jordan, who achieved so much in their short lives,” says Susan Barker, vice-provost (student experience). “The scholarships help to ensure that the academic and extracurricular passions that they shared can live on through the work of current students. It is a great legacy.” 

Meet the first recipients:

Sarah Klym – The Lawrence Hong Scholarship in Urban Studies

Sarah Klym was a first year university student when she met Lawrence Hong three years ago. Hong was mentoring first year urban studies students and his guidance, care and warm nature meant a lot to Klym.

“He was extremely welcoming and it left a lasting impression on me, because I was really scared in my first year,” Klym recalls. “He was really accommodating and friendly and he made me feel super welcome in the program. He was definitely a special person. I feel lucky to have had that experience with him.”

That’s why being the first recipient of the $1,000 Lawrence Hong Scholarship in Urban Studies comes with such mixed emotions for the 20-year-old, now completing her third year of the program.

“I feel proud and honoured to be the first recipient,” Klym says. “It means a lot to me and it’s inspiring. But it’s also bittersweet. It brought up a lot of memories of him.”

With the help of the scholarship, she is looking to complete her urban studies degree with an eye on doing her masters in architecture.  “It’s fascinating to learn about the fabric of our cities and the way that everything comes back to the built environment, in a way.”

Ryan Mikalson – Jordan Segura Memorial Scholarship

As a third year religious studies student Ryan Mikalson is keenly aware of the impact Jordan Segura left on the Department of Classics and Religion.

“His presence is still felt for sure,” says Mikalson. “If you go into the department lounge now you’ll see a memorial plaque for Jordan.  I didn’t personally know him, but I have friends in our student’s association who did. I know he was always funny and laughing and he really left his mark.”

Mikalson was honoured to meet Segura’s mother and brother during a recent luncheon held for the scholarship winners. “I told them it was intensely humbling to receive this scholarship,” Mikalson says. “The department is still very aware of Jordan’s memory and to be a part of continuing that legacy is a great privilege.” 

Currently studying early Christianity and late antique Christianity, Mikalson plans to pursue his masters at the University of Calgary once completing his undergraduate degree.

Shona Murray – Joshua Hunter Scholarship in Business

When Shona Murray heard she was receiving the scholarship in memory of Joshua Hunter, the moment was “bittersweet” as she thought about the enormity of what the scholarship represents and how much it means to her.

Like Josh, Shona is also an accounting student at the Haskayne School of Business and passionate about music. While Josh played drums in his band Zackariah and the Prophets, Shona is a vocalist for a worship band.

“I look at this scholarship as such a meaningful way to celebrate Joshua’s goals, aspirations and life. I didn't know Joshua personally, but there is no doubt that he was a talented and passionate individual who was successfully following his dreams, and I am honoured to be part of his legacy,” she says.  

Shona aims to get her CPA designation after university and is a major in accounting and a minor in applied mathematics.

“Being the first recipient of the Joshua Hunter Scholarship, I had the honour to meet the Hunter family and connect with them on a personal level. Having this experience was extremely special, and seeing the love and strength within the Hunter family will have a life-long impact on me,” she says.

“Scholarships are highly valued, but the impact of meeting Joshua’s family and knowing what this particular scholarship represents gives it a deeper meaning.”