In 2017, the Human Kinetics class of 1977 decided to gather for their first official reunion – forty years after graduation. As they started to plan their gathering, excitement began to rise among classmates. The nostalgia of their time at the University of Guelph, intertwined with fantastic memories from such formative years of their lives, lead the classmates to reflect upon their time on campus. When sharing stories of their lives and the impact the university had on their careers, they decided they wanted to give back to the institution that brought them together.
In celebration of their 40th anniversary, the HK class of 1977 decided to launch a class project to fund a yearly scholarship for one Human Kinetics student per year. Their goal was to provide a student majoring in Human Kinetics with a $1000 scholarship towards their education. Selection of the recipient would be based upon highest cumulative average and be awarded in the winter semester. That year, they launched their class project and worked hard to fundraise towards their goal. Over the course of five years, they were able to work together to reach endowment level, which provides a yearly scholarship in perpetuity for generations to come. Their dedication to their goal became more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic after seeing the hardships students faced due to lack of jobs and increasing costs of living and education.
“No amount of thanks will ever be enough for all of your hard work and generosity for your creation of this scholarship and your support of our students.” – Coral Murrant, Professor & Chair, Human Health & Nutritional Sciences
This year, the class of 1977 was able to reunite to celebrate two major milestones: the first being their 45th anniversary. The excitement of being able to reunite in person with classmates was astounding, but the class of HK’77 was ready to celebrate even more. Their class project was the first of its kind for the College of Biological Sciences – not only did it reach endowment level, but it was ready to be given out to its first winner the year of their 45th anniversary. As the class gathered that evening, undergraduate student Melanie Weinstein was invited to celebrate her scholarship award with the class. The class of HK’77 was able to see their hard work pay off and that moment has inspired the group to continue to fundraise in the coming years in hopes of being able to provide two yearly scholarships for human kinetics students.
The catalyst for this project was the reconnection of friends and gratitude for the University of Guelph. This inspired a passion for fundraising in the class of HK’77 and their efforts have encouraged other reunion groups to begin class projects of their own within the College of Biological Sciences. Coral Murrant states, “Their leadership in this space has now set a standard that has inspired other classes to explore class projects of their own. Their legacy has spread further than you will know”.
Interested in creating a lasting legacy? Please contact Jillian Randall (Alumni Advancement Manager, CBS) at 226-821-3659.