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Three Shuffle 29 teams — and counting — raise money for their own named student awards

Groups will walk to gather funds for Indigenous students, students with disabilities and students involved in the Concordia community
August 31, 2018
By Molly Hamilton

Every September since 1990, the Concordia community comes together for the annual Concordia Shuffle walkathon to raise funds for undergraduate and graduate student awards.

In 2015, the Concordia Veterans Association Shuffle team asked that the money they raised for the Shuffle go to support the Veterans Student Aid Fund, a first for the Shuffle. That idea — spearheaded by Gilbert Tordjman, BSc 89, Concordia’s executive director of Advancement Services who served two years in Canada’s Army Reserves — inspired others to create or support special student awards.

These three teams are fundraising for special student awards at Shuffle 29, which takes place on September 28, 2018.

The Orange Shirt Bursary for Indigenous Students

Shuffle 29 will be the third year that some of the faculty and staff of Concordia’s Department of Applied Human Sciences will be walking the 6.5 km from Sir George Williams Campus to Loyola Campus wearing orange shirts in honour of Orange Shirt Day.

Team Orange Shirt Hilary Rose (front row on the right) and Team Orange Shirt are pictured at last year's Shuffle.

“Orange Shirt Day is something that started 15 years ago or so in British Columbia,” explains Hilary Rose, associate professor in the Department of Applied Human Sciences. “It’s a day in recognition of residential school survivors.”

Through last year’s shuffle, Rose and her colleagues created the Orange Shirt Bursary for Indigenous Students. “We raised $3,000 last year and that $3,000 will be divided up into three $1,000 awards for the next three years,” she says.

Starting in fall 2018, the bursary is available to students that self-identify as Indigenous and are registered at Concordia’s Aboriginal Students Resource Centre.

“It’s a needs-based bursary to help students out as they’re finishing up their degree and they’re thinking, ‘Where do I find the money for this last semester?’” says Rose.

For Shuffle 29, Team Orange Shirt is hoping to raise another $3,000 to continue providing the bursary. As a fundraising initiative to support the cause, in September the team plans to sell orange shirt sugar cookies.

“I figured, if we could raise $3,000 last year, we can do it again this year,” Rose says.

The Gordon Dionne Memorial Fund

Gordon Dionne The late Gordon Dionne, former manager of the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities, was a mentor and leader to many at Concordia.

The Access Centre for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) Shuffle team — called the Friends of Gordon — will raise money for the Gordon Dionne Memorial Fund. The fund was created this year in memory of the centre’s late manager, Gordon Dionne, who passed away in May 2018.

“We are very, very sad to lose Gordon. He was not only a manager, but a friend,” says Charles Altman, BComm 00, ACSD advisor. “He brought out the best in people — not only in the staff but in our students. Gordon just made everyone feel smart. He empowered other people, and that’s a good model.”

Charles Altman Charles Altman is hoping to raise $30,000 for bursaries that will be available to students with disabilities and in financial need.

Through private donations, the Shuffle and other fundraising initiatives, Altman is hoping to raise $30,000 for bursaries that will be available to students with disabilities and in need of financial assistance.

“The ministry has changed their funding structures over the years. That means some students no longer qualified for some of the funding, despite their severe financial need. So it’s good to have a fund that backs them up,” says Altman.

“Gordon was all about inclusion and this carries on his message.”

The Student Success Centre Scholarship

The Student Success Centre (SSC) is dedicated to helping students achieve their goals. With this in mind, they are creating the Student Success Centre Scholarship to assist a student who has been in “failed standing” but has been accepted back and is determined to start fresh.

“Our team has been thinking about creating a scholarship for a while. When we discovered that we could create it in conjunction with fundraising for the Shuffle, it became a reality,” says Ann McLaughlin, coordinator at the Career Resource Centre.

For this year’s Shuffle, the SSC team is hoping to raise the minimum $3,000 to establish a scholarship of $1,000 a year for three years.

“We’re at early stages with it but we’re really excited,” says Laura Mitchell, director of the SSC. “Our team discussed it together, and everyone was really on board with us directly supporting students to complete their studies at Concordia.”

Laura Mitchell and Ann McLaughlin Laura Mitchell (left) and Ann McLaughlin of the Student Success Centre are extending their mission to help students to their Shuffle fundraising. They're creating a special Shuffle scholarship for students making a fresh start.

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