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Our goal

To fund scholarships and bursaries that support both undergraduate and senior students in their pursuit of knowledge.

Your gift honours senior students’ contributions to the university community, while serving the needs of the next generation of Concordia students.

Who we are

The Senior Students committee is made-up of a group of dedicated volunteers who are committed to supporting those taking part in the Senior Non-Credit Program, while also making sure the legacy of the program founders lives on through the Senior Students Endowment.

There are currently 300 students enrolled in courses offered in the Senior Non-Credit Program, which allows people aged 55 or older to pursue their interests and audit a number of undergraduate courses without having to write exams and assignments. While these students don’t receive marks, they do gain access to university-level education and top-level faculty members at special senior rates.

In 1988, as a gesture of appreciation for the opportunities offered to seniors by Concordia, the Senior Students Committee established an endowment to fund two awards in honour of two of the program’s founders:

  • The T.J. Madden In-Course Bursary honours the late T.J. Madden, who was a model of commitment towards education. This bursary is awarded based on academic achievement and financial need to current undergraduate students.
  • The William Schiff in-Course Scholarship honours the late William Schiff, an active senior student. This scholarship recognizes the accomplishments of a senior enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. It is the sole award exclusively available to Concordia’s senior community.

The generosity of Concordia’s senior community has provided many students with the opportunity to make the most of their academic experience. Through the endowment, we hope to continue the tradition of paying it forward to support the next-generation of students.

“ As a former staff member, Concordia was my second home for more than 20 years. I have since retired but have kept ties with the university as a non-credit student and volunteer with the Senior Non-Credit Program.


The program offers a unique environment where students of all ages have the opportunity to connect and learn from each other’s experiences. I give to the Senior Students Endowment because I believe in the potential of the next generation of students and hope to provide them with the same opportunities to learn and grow that Concordia provided me. ”


— Joyce Payan, Senior student and chair of the Senior Non-Credit Program

Why we need your help

Senior students, who are often on a reduced budget, can understand how finances can prevent access to education. We want to remove that road-block for future Concordia students so that they can take advantage of their time at Concordia in order to succeed in and beyond the classroom.

Please make a generous contribution to the Senior Students Endowment, so that we can support more students in the future with these significant and sometimes life-changing awards. Our combined efforts will provide valuable financial aid, which is also a gift of time, focus and freedom from financial stress.

“Receiving the T.J Madden In-Course Bursary gave me the gift of time. It allowed me to fully dedicate myself to honing my skills as a scriptwriter and director.


I take pride that a film I produced for a class project was selected by the Montreal World Film Festival and premiered this past August.  Thanks to those who contributed to the Senior Students Endowment, my dreams are becoming reality.”

— Fiona Cully, BFA 19

About the Senior Non-Credit Program

Over 30 years ago, a student in his 60’s by the name of William Schiff began to take Concordia undergraduate credit courses, on his way to earning a BA in History. He lobbied the university administration to offer seniors the chance to audit undergraduate courses without writing exams and assignment or paying full fees. The administration agreed and created the Senior Non-Credit Program in 1983.

Senior students recognized the importance of this program in allowing them access to affordable education so that they could satisfy their hunger for knowledge and connect with students of all ages. They also found importance in giving back to the university by providing opportunities for students following in their footsteps, through the support of the Senior Students Endowment.

Members of the Senior Students Committee with student award recipients at the 2018 Donor & Student Awards Celebration

Your gift honours senior students’ contributions to the university community, while serving the needs of the next generation of Concordia students.

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