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Michael Kehler

Michael Kehler

Schulich Leader Scholarship allows two more students to chase their dreams

Michael Kehler and Alex Kitt to start at the U of M in the fall

June 12, 2018 — 

Since 2012, the University of Manitoba has awarded two Schulich Leader Scholarships each year to incoming undergraduate students enrolling in the Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) areas of study. These prestigious awards are valued at $80,000 and $100,000 and offer these outstanding new students the chance to dream big and pursue their goals.

Michael Kehler, a student at Calvin Christian School and Alex Kitt of Dakota Collegiate are this year’s recipients.

Alex Kitt

Alex Kitt

For Kitt, who will enter the Faculty of Science this fall, this award means everything.

“Receiving this award is like being recognized for everything I’ve done, all the way through high school, at the same time. It’s incredibly gratifying.”

Created in 2012 by Canadian business leader and philanthropist Seymour Schulich, this annual scholarship program encourages promising high school graduates to embrace the STEM fields in their future careers.

“This award gives me the opportunity to pursue my dreams, and maybe even change my mind if I want to. I have the freedom to do so because the Schulich Foundation is investing in people, not just their plans,” says Kitt, who will receive $80,000 to pursue his degree. “With this award, I have the financial independence to explore educational opportunities like studying in different countries through the U of M’s co-op program and pursuing a graduate degree.”

Kehler, who will graduate from Calvin Christian School and start in the Faculty of Engineering in September, plans to take mechanical engineering with the hopes of specializing in the aerospace stream. He’s drawn to engineering because of a desire to take things apart, find out how they work, improve them and apply these concepts to other things. Kehler will receive $100,000 to help fund his studies.

“This award opens so many doors. I am able to go beyond my bachelor’s degree at the U of M and take more courses,” says Kehler. “It also allows for more options after I graduate and gives me pride and encouragement to continue to do quality work and to strive be an example to others.”

All Canadian high schools, secondary schools and CEGEPs (in Quebec) have the opportunity to nominate one outstanding student to receive these scholarships. In the end, only 50 students across the country will win one of these significant awards to fund their undergraduate studies at one of the 20 designated universities in Canada.

“Receiving this award is very encouraging,” says Kehler. “Not just to make it easier to pay for university, but to help me believe that I’m moving in the right direction.”

Kitt was in a meeting with his guidance counsellor when he found out that he was a recipient. When he heard the news, he was in shock.

“I didn’t really believe I had won at first. I got a phone call from an unknown number and I was about to just let it ring through before I figured it might be a call for a job interview,” says Kitt. “When the person told me I won, I had to repeat what she said, because I actually thought I misheard her. My guidance counsellor was basically jumping up and down as I tried to stay concentrated on the phone call. When I got a certificate signed by Mr. Schulich himself, that’s when it really set in, and now I’m super pumped.”


With support from partners like the Schulich Foundation, the University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre campaign is committed to providing students with an exceptional experience. By supporting an outstanding student experience, we are unlocking the potential in our students, helping them discover new paths, and positioning them for academic and career success.


Schulich Leader Scholarships are prestigious entrance scholarships awarded to high school graduates enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate program at partner universities in Canada and Israel. Recognizing the increasing importance and impact that STEM disciplines will have on the prosperity of future generations, businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich established this $100 million scholarship fund in 2012 to encourage our best and brightest students to become the next pioneers of global scientific research and innovation. This program awards 100 scholarships annually (50 in Canada and 50 in Israel), valued at more than $7 million.

Each year, every Canadian high school can submit one Schulich Leader Nominee (Cégeps can submit two Nominees) based on their student excelling in STEM subjects and demonstrating at least two of the following attributes: academic excellence, leadership and financial need.  In 2018, high schools across Canada put forth 1,400 Nominees, who in turn became eligible to receive the scholarship and become Schulich Leaders. Schulich Leaders can devote their full time and attention to their studies, as all of their financial needs are covered over the course of their degree. To date there are 320 Canadian Schulich Leaders. Nominations for the 2019 program will be accepted starting in September 2018.


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