New award from Canadian business icons helping students succeed around the globe
Sometimes journeying a little further leads to learning a whole lot more.
Carter Liebzeit, a second-year Law student, spent last summer completing an internship with the United Nations office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva, Switzerland. Volunteering provided real-world context to his studies, he says.
“I was able to assist with actual preparedness projects in developing countries. I had a first-hand look at the intersection between human rights and the way we respond to environmental disasters.”
Carter’s experience was made possible through donor support. Last fall, he was chosen to receive a scholarship from the Schwartz/Reisman Scholars Program, launched in 2016 by alumnus Gerald Schwartz [BComm/62, LLB/66, LLD/16] and his wife Heather Reisman [LLD/16], both icons of Canadian commerce. Their foundation’s $1-million investment through the University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre campaign will award scholarships valued at up to $30,000 to students in the I.H. Asper School of Business and the Faculty of Law each year until 2019-2020.
Already 27 students have received the award recognizing community involvement, leadership, and academic excellence. Molly Smyth, a third-year Bachelor of Commerce Co-op student, was one of the first recipients. As a board member of AIESEC (a leadership organization that facilitates youth international exchange), she dreamed of participating in an exchange program herself but thought it might be out of reach.
“There are so many students that are unable to fulfill their goals because they are tied up in impossible finances,” says the Schwartz/Reisman scholar who is currently completing an exchange in Santander, Spain. “This scholarship allowed me to fulfil my dream of studying abroad while still continuing to volunteer and participate in student groups. I want to go on to obtain a graduate degree, and now I will be able to tackle that goal much sooner.”
Supporting the University of Manitoba’s student leaders was an ideal fit for the The Gerald Schwartz & Heather Reisman Foundation, says Schwartz. He is founder, chairman, and CEO of Onex Corporation, one of the world’s most respected private equity firms. Reisman is founder, chair and CEO of Indigo Books and Music, Canada’s largest book, gift and specialty toy retailer. Together they are long-standing supporters of the University and known nationwide for their philanthropy.
“By giving the University’s most promising students strong foundations to build on, we are helping them reach their full potential and go on to make a difference in Manitoba and beyond,” says Schwartz.
Carter, for one, is already looking to make an impact and has accepted a clerkship position at the Federal Court in Ottawa this summer. “I hope to pursue a career focused on achieving justice through public interest legal work,” he says.
“I am still inspired by the fact that Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Reisman made such a generous contribution. I will always be grateful for the role this award played in advancing my education.”
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