Scholarship creates a family legacy
In the late 1970s, Patrick Heffernan and his wife Patricia came to Alberta from Ontario.
Unsatisfied with his traditional university experience, Pat decided to fit an education at Athabasca University around his work as a stationary engineer with Imperial Oil and raising their two daughters. Sadly, Pat passed away suddenly at the age of 46 just a year after graduating with his Bachelor of General Studies.
Inspired by her late husband’s accomplishments at AU, Patricia created a student award in his honour. Now in its fourteenth year, the Patrick Heffernan Memorial Scholarship is awarded to the student entering the second year of an undergraduate degree program with the highest GPA in AU courses. The scholarship has a value of $500.
As well as benefiting the recipient, this award is a significant means of remembrance for the Heffernan family. Patricia is particularly fond of sharing thank-notes from scholarship recipients with her children and grandchildren.
“This is an important tradition in our family,” she says. “My grandchildren didn’t get to meet (him), so this is how they get to know their grandfather.”