Recipients of the Military Memorial Bursaries

Jill Thompson, 2011 recipient
Social Work Diploma, 2014

Jill Thompson received the Sergeant Frederick Ernst Boalch Military Memorial Bursary in 2011. As a single mother, the stress of venturing back into school, while managing the stress and financial strain of doing so, nearly deterred her from completing her studies.

Now a proud alumna of the social work program at Mount Royal, Jill says, “I don’t know whether I could have completed my studies and reached my career dreams without receiving the bursary.”

“Not only did the award validate my hard work and decision to pursue my goals, it gave me a perspective into the sacrifices fallen soldiers make for future generations. Sergeant Frederick Ernst Boalch’s story was so moving. Having died at the young age of 21 — and on his birthday — made his courage much more real, and his sacrifice more tragic.”

Having both of her grandfathers serve in WWII, Jill felt a newfound sense of gratitude towards military veterans. “I never fully grasped the commitment these young soldiers were making,” says Jill. “After I received the award, it gave new meaning to the privileges I had as an aspiring student. The bursary represents how one person’s sacrifice can impact so many people.”

Eunice Atabongnkeng, 2011 recipient
Social Work Diploma and Addiction Studies Certificate, 2011

Eunice Atabongnkeng credits the Wing Commander Albin Laut Military Memorial Bursary she received while studying at Mount Royal as a lifesaver. “It meant everything at the time,” she says. “I was caring for a newborn baby and two other children while also attending classes full time. I would not have been able to finish my studies without this award.”

In fact, she keeps the Wing Commander Albin Laut memorial card that she received with her bursary. “I display it with my diploma as a reminder and out of gratitude — we would not have survived without it.”

Eunice described the award as more than just financial support. “I was honoured,” she says, trying to put her appreciation into words. “I treasure it so much because of the sacrifice these soldiers made for us, and their families as well. One person’s sacrifice can make such a difference in the lives of so many people. It is wonderful that Albin Laut is still providing opportunities for students.”

After Mount Royal, Eunice earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in social work. She is happy that she is now able to give back to the community by helping others. “This award played a pivotal role in my career achievements by encouraging me to dedicate my life to helping others,” says Eunice. “I will be forever grateful.”

Michelle Cahoon, 2011 recipient
Bachelor of Communication — Public Relations, 2012

“Being awarded the Captain George Garry Foster Military Memorial Bursary kept me and my daughter going while I was in school,” says Michelle Cahoon, a 2011 recipient. “The award motivated me to continue with my studies.”

Michelle, a public relations alumna of Mount Royal, was a single parent when she decided to go back to school.

“The financial support was a great source of inspiration for me. The captain’s history made receiving the award even more humbling.”

“The role he played in Canada’s worldwide peacekeeping efforts was admirable,” Michelle says. “To know this young man gave his life for his country — and that I am now a part of his legacy as a recipient of his memorial award — is truly remarkable.”

Nancy Rattray, 2016 recipient
Disability Studies Diploma — 2007
Early Learning and Child Care Certificate — 2009

“Receiving the Lieutenant Campbell Stuart Munro Military Memorial Bursary marked a monumental point in my education path,” says Nancy Rattray, a Mount Royal alumna of both the Disability Studies Diploma and Early Learning and Child Care Certificate programs.

“The award allowed me to be a full-time student. It confirmed my decision to advance my education.”

Having returned to university as a mature student, Nancy cites the bursary as a source of inspiration when she discovered the history of Lieutenant Campbell Stuart Munro. “Learning about the lieutenant’s bravery — honoured and memorialized throughout Alberta — made the award much more meaningful,” Nancy says. “His sacrifice and strength gave me the courage to further myself. I hope I will influence others the way he has influenced me.”