In the late 1960s, students studying at Glendon reached out to the College staff asking for financial help. Within a few years, a fund for bursary and emergency loan support had been created through monthly giving from Glendon staff and faculty, helping lay the foundation for what we now know as Friends of Glendon. Friends of Glendon was created as a registered Canadian charity in January 1971 to assist the community in their efforts. Students rallied around the organization as well, approving a levy that they would pay to help increase bursary funds each year, which in turn would go back to the students themselves to help pay for school fees.
Students receive support through scholarships, bursaries and awards. In the nearly fifty years they have been active, Friends of Glendon have created over fifty awards that are managed by the university – we donate funds and set out the award criteria with the College, which then manages our investments and distributes the awards to Glendon students. Scholarships are created to recognize the academic excellence of Glendon’s best and brightest. Awards, in comparison to scholarships, can include non-academic and/or financial need criteria. Bursaries are primarily based on financial need; they support students who don’t have enough resources to complete their studies. When students fill out their Student Financial Profile, they are automatically considered for bursaries offered by the Friends of Glendon.
On top of these traditional forms of support, we have two programs that provide support to students in more difficult financial circumstances. We have a small Book Voucher program that can help students who can’t afford required textbooks. Our Board of Directors created this program in the 2000s when they learned that some students were finding it difficult to afford all of their books and were dropping courses for that reason. These vouchers are a one-time gift that a student can use at the campus bookstore.
From our beginning as an organization, our Emergency Loans program has been there to help students in crisis. We provide funds to give interest-free short-term loans to students who meet specific criteria. In the last six years alone, we’ve loaned over $200,000 to Glendon students. Recently, in honour of Glendon’s fiftieth anniversary, we set out to establish a Celebration Bursary to help with all of the Glendon students who will arrive in the years to come.