The Judith F. Gainsbury Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing

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Congratulations on your retirement, Dr. Besner!

After nearly 30 years of dedicated service and excellence at The University of Winnipeg, Dr. Neil Besner has announced that he will retire on July 1, 2017. Since joining the University on August 1, 1987, Besner has had many roles and titles, including Assistant Professor in the English Department, Senior Administration, and, most recently as Professor; Provost and Vice President, Academic.

On behalf of the students, faculty, and support staff at UWinnipeg, we would like to wish Dr. Besner all the best in his future and retirement.


To further his contributions to The University of Winnipeg, Besner has also donated $30,000 to create an endowment in support of his new scholarship, the Judith F. Gainsbury Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing in honour of his mother. As a woman with a passion for the written word, Judith, who passed away in 2003, was an inveterate letter writer and loved to compose plays, novels, and poems. As a Professor in the English Department, Besner noticed similar characteristics in some of the female students who were also creative writers, especially their devotion to writing. This scholarship will annually provide a deserving female English major with an interest in creative writing with $2,000 to assist with her cost of tuition and books.

"A lot of them work three or four jobs at the same time, and take classes full time. They're heroic, they're epic, and I just want to make sure that somebody gets supported in some substantial ongoing way, and I think my mother would like that." - Dr. Neil Besner

The University of Winnipeg Foundation would like to thank Neil for his years of service and longstanding generosity to the University through this gift and others. If you would like to make a gift to honour Neil, his retirement and the Judith F. Gainsbury Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing, you can make a donation here.

All gifts made are tax deductible.

If you don’t want to make a gift online, you can also send a cheque to:

The University of Winnipeg Foundation
901 - 491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E4 Canada

*Note: Please make sure to mark your gift for 'The Judith F. Gainsbury Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing.'


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