Dr. Gary McPherson was a renowned advocate for people with disabilities. He devoted himself to inspiring leadership and bringing out the best in everyone. He was a member of the Order of Canada, the Alberta Order of Excellence and both the Edmonton and Alberta Sports Halls of Fame.

This scholarship recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, especially in the area of disability, and/or initiative to improve the conditions and lives of others.


100 awards of $2,000 each are awarded annually

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be:

  • a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident or Protected Person (visa students are not eligible),
  • an Alberta resident, and to be considered an Alberta resident one of the following conditions must apply:
    - one parent or legal guardian has maintained permanent residence in Canada for at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately prior to commencing post-secondary studies and be residing in Alberta, or
    - Alberta is the last place the student has lived for twelve (12) consecutive months immediately prior to commencing post-secondary studies, or
    - the student’s spouse/partner has maintained permanent residence in Alberta for 12 consecutive months prior to the person attending post-secondary studies.
  • enrolled full-time in a post-secondary program: undergraduate, professional, graduate, apprenticeship, diploma or certificate program at an eligible publicly funded post-secondary institution in Alberta, and
  • in satisfactory academic standing as determined by the post-secondary institution.

How to Apply

Submit application to the Student Awards Office at your school.

Applicants must include with the application:

  • a resume highlighting your leadership involvement and extra-curricular activities related to improving the lives of other people; and
  • an essay of up to a maximum of 1,000 words - please refer to page 2 of the application for details.


Contact your school for application deadlines.

Selection Process

Selection is made on the basis of the role and contribution each student has made to their school as well as the documentation provided in the application. There are a limited number of awards available to each school and application deadlines vary by school. 

Many other scholarships and awards are offered by other organizations – we encourage you to visit Alberta’s public university and college websites to research the scholarships that they offer.

For more information, see Alberta post-secondary institutions.