Ready to lead in campus life

Meet Schulich Leader Jack deGooyer

- November 24, 2016

Schulich Leader Jack deGooyer. (Danny Abriel photo)
Schulich Leader Jack deGooyer. (Danny Abriel photo)

A local university with family ties, a strong Engineering program and an almost-anything-you-can-imagine extracurricular scene had Jack deGooyer from Hammonds Plains, N.S. considering Dalhousie when it was time to apply to university.

What finalized his decision was the news he’d been selected as one of Dalhousie’s two Schulich Leaders for 2016.

“I applied to four universities and I was considering my options in Canada and the United States,” says Jack. “I wasn’t expecting to receive the scholarship and was really thrilled to just be chosen as the nominee for my high school.”

Jack’s application caught the eye of the Dalhousie selection committee, and he received news of his $80,000 award while driving through Quebec with his parents over March Break. “I was kind of in shock when I got the call and my parents kept asking me what was going on because they knew that it was Dal who had called,” he says. “It took about a week to sink in.”

The Dal connection runs in the family, and his parents often shared memories from their time as Dal students with him growing up.

“My dad was the president of Howe Hall when he was a student. My parents really loved their time on campus. I grew up hearing their memories and stories and it really made an impression on me.”

He also credits his high school teachers — in particular, Steven Greer, Christine Kenney and Megan McCormick — with helping him adjust to a new school when he moved to at Charles P. Allen High School in grade 11, and encouraging him to continue his high-level of extracurricular involvement.

Celebrating outstanding students

Jack’s well-rounded experiences in extracurricular activities, volunteerism and leadership made him a natural fit for the Schulich Leader program.

The Schulich Leader scholarships recognize outstanding students at top universities across Canada for their leadership inside and outside the classroom. Launched in 2012, the $100 million program funds 50 undergraduate scholarships each year in science, engineering, technology and mathematics. They are funded by the Schulich Foundation with the support of its founding philanthropist Seymour Schulich.

“Dal’s proud to be a partner of the Schulich Foundation,” says Katie MacDonald, assistant registrar awards at Dalhousie. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Foundation to identify and recognize leaders who will positively shape the Dalhousie community.”  

Thanks to his Schulich award, Jack is able to live on campus and has jumped in to campus life. He’s the first-year rep for Risley Hall Council and first-year rep with the Dalhousie Engineering Society. He’s also looking forward to getting involved in the debate society and Engineers Without Borders.

With his first semester well underway some of Jack’s best memories are coming from unexpected moments. “The best and most unexpected thing during my first month on campus was the Colour Festival” he says. “I love the diversity of campus and I’m meeting people from so many different backgrounds.”

Making the most of campus life

Already thinking ahead to graduation, Jack hopes that the financial support he’s receiving through the Schulich Leader award will let him take some time to travel and work with non-profit organizations in developing countries after graduation. As for the next four years, he hopes that he’s able to make an impact on the campus community and on his peers.

“I hope that my involvement on campus means that others are positively impacted by the projects I’m involved in. Peer-to-peer support is important to me and I want my classmates and I to look back on our time at Dal knowing that we had a great time and are better people because of the experiences that we’ve shared here.”

Nominations for the 2017 Schulich Leader awards are now open. More information is available at


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