Bursary now supports six students thanks to generosity of Flaherty family and friends

Paul Flaherty

WHITEHORSE, YT — A student award that supported a single bursary of $500 annually will now support six students each year. This is thanks to the generosity of friends, family and two corporate donations. 
Paul and Helen Flaherty created the bursary in 2016 while Paul served as Yukon College Board of Governors chair. The award supports students engaged in university prep courses, which many know as upgrading, with the intention of enrolling in a credit program. 
From Paul’s time on the board, hearing directly from students on challenges they face in their educational journeys, he and Helen saw how precarious this first step of returning to post-secondary education can be. They endeavoured to support and encourage students at this initial stage.

When Paul passed away last November, this bursary was one of three giving options provided for family and friends who wished to honour Paul’s memory with a donation. 

36 individuals donated to the bursary, plus Bell Canada and Northwestel where Paul enjoyed a long professional career. 

The expanded endowment allows for two bursaries of $1,000 and four bursaries of $500 to be awarded to students each year for the foreseeable future. It also enables the Yukon University Foundation to work discretely with instructors to ensure the bursaries support the recipients’ most pressing needs including, tutoring, textbook purchases, computer equipment, grocery cards and mental health and wellness support. 

“We truly appreciate all the kindness shown in remembrance of Paul and the generous donations made to the bursary. It was always Paul’s goal that this bursary would lighten students’ financial burdens and would be used as a stepping-stone by them to further their education. With the increased value of the bursary, Paul’s goal will be realized, and more students will now have the opportunity to achieve their goals. For this we are grateful,” said the Flaherty family. 

“The growth of the Flaherty Bursary shows the power of determining a meaningful legacy that inspires others to follow in supporting the next generation of Yukon leaders. On behalf of students, we are incredibly grateful to the Flaherty family and friends for choosing to honour Paul in this way,” said Rod Snow, Yukon University Foundation board chair. 

As Board of Governors chair from 2012 to 2018, Paul Flaherty led the research into what transition to a university would mean for students, the institution and Yukon. He also led community consultations shaping the development of the institution’s 2013 and 2016 strategic plans and the creation of the Yukon College Master Land Use Plan, which guides the look and feel of Ayamdigut campus to 2040. 

The application deadline for the Flaherty bursary and all Fall semester awards is September 30. Please visit our awards page to learn more.

Bursary creation quick facts: 

  • To establish a bursary, please contact Yukon University Foundation Development Officer Jay Dobson at jdobson@yukonu.ca or 867 332 3533. 

  • Individuals, couples, families, companies or a group of likeminded people can create a giving circle which establishes a bursary through a one-time or regular donation. 

  • This donation is then invested, and the interest generated supports one or more annual awards for students.  

  • YukonU Foundation works with donors to ensure the bursary is effective in supporting students in ways that align with the donors’ wishes. 

  • Once established, additional donors may help grow the endowment, expanding the supports available for students and honouring the initial investors.  

  • A full list of Yukon University student financial awards can be found at YukonU.ca/awards.  

For more information, please contact

Jay Dobson

Development Officer

Governance and External

Michael Vernon

Communications Coordinator

Governance and External

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