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Prestigious international scholarship in memory of Lady Vi enters second year

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Oct 5, 2023

Category: UNB Saint John , UNB Fredericton

Photo: Inaugural Lady Vi Scholar, Arushi Sabnis stands with the Max Aitken, president of the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation and Charlotte Aitken, board member, in front of a portrait of the Aitken's grandmother, Lady Violet (Vi) Aitken, at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery during a Beaverbrook Scholars celebration on Sept. 29, 2023.

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) is pleased to celebrate its most prestigious scholarship for international students, made possible through a $1 million commitment from the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation.

The Lady Vi Aitken Scholarship honours the legacy of Lady Violet Aitken (LLD’90), who served as chancellor from 1982 to 1992 and as chancellor emerita thereafter. “Lady Vi,” as she was known, was the third member of the Aitken family to hold the chancellorship, travelling from her home in England several times a year to participate in campus events. For decades, Lady Vi provided leadership and wise counsel and served as New Brunswick’s most prominent and persuasive international ambassador.

In keeping with this tradition of internationalization, Lady Vi Scholars come to UNB from around the globe, complementing UNB’s existing community of over 1,000 Beaverbrook Scholars in a broader community of leadership and academic excellence. One renewable award, valued at $40,000 over four years, will be granted each year, ultimately leading to four concurrent Lady Vi Scholars.

The inaugural Lady Vi Scholar is Arushi Sabnis. Born in Mumbai, India, and raised in Bahrain, Sabnis is now in her second year in the bachelor of science in engineering (mechanical) program on UNB’s Fredericton campus.

Sabnis has thrived at UNB, volunteering with Go ENG Girl and other UNB initiatives. She is the junior editor-in-chief of the Atlantic Student Research Journal and is excited to pursue a future career in the aerospace industry. She is grateful for the Lady Vi Aitken Scholarship and the help it has given her in pursuing this dream. “Being able to afford international tuition was only possible because I got this scholarship,” she said.

“It is fitting that the legacy of my great-grandfather, Lord Beaverbrook, should be carried on in this way, by opening up opportunities for students around the world to study in his beloved New Brunswick. Moreover, our foundation is proud to honour my grandmother, Lady Vi, whose energy and zest for life were as legendary as her generosity,” said the Hon. Max Aitken, president of the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation.

“Thanks to this generous gift from the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation, Lady Vi’s legacy lives on at UNB. Lady Vi Scholars increase diversity in our community and foster a broader sense of global awareness and inclusion, helping to inspire young leaders and giving them the tools they need to succeed,” said UNB’s president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle.