Opportunity and inclusion: Core values that helped shape a gift

Planned giving
Telfer School of Management
Equity, diversity and inclusion
Marlene Patrick and Lily Omakor chat, smiling, over coffee.
Marlene Patrick’s (BAdm ’79, BCom ‘80) fondest memories of uOttawa stem from its bilingualism. Arriving at the University from a smaller, English-speaking community and wanting to study translation, she saw this as a great, inclusive opportunity.

While Marlene Patrick eventually switched to business administration, inclusion remained a strong value for her. That’s what the School of Management (now the Telfer School of Management) represented, with its French and English programs, as well as students from across the country and around the world.

Ms. Patrick is thankful for being able to study in such a rich, diverse environment. She credits this experience for not only making her a better student and person, but also a better accountant and public servant, as director of cost management at Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

An active donor at uOttawa for more than 30 years, Ms. Patrick received the Telfer Loyal Donor of the Year Award in 2017. Shortly thereafter, in recognition of the opportunity she had to pursue her own education, she wanted to make a significant impact and improve access for students who didn’t have the same chance.  “I thought it was time to be thankful for what I had achieved through uOttawa and Telfer, and to try to help others.” Thus, she established the Marlene King Patrick Admission Scholarship.

Concerned with the many social injustices exposed over the last few years, Ms. Patrick then sought to change the focus of her scholarship. “It became clearer and clearer that not enough attention was being given to Indigenous issues and systemic racism. And it’s the recognition of white privilege, that other people deserve equal opportunities,” she says. Her scholarship now supports women from Black, Indigenous or racialized communities newly admitted to an undergraduate program at Telfer.

But her commitment to uOttawa doesn’t stop there.  Ms. Patrick has confirmed her intention to include uOttawa in her estate planning, to help support her scholarship. “I think there will always be a need for scholarships. There will always be people who don’t have the same advantages as others. They deserve that chance and that opportunity too.”

This legacy gift will allow Ms. Patrick’s scholarship to continue helping Telfer students for years to come, playing a key role in encouraging opportunity and inclusion as core values at the school.

Lily Omakor listening to Marlene Patrick speaking with passion.
Marlene Patrick with Lily Omakor, the 2022 recipient of the Marlene King Patrick Admission Scholarship.

“To me, a scholarship is a physical representation of encouragement and expectation. It is proof that others can perceive and appreciate my efforts through my academic and extracurricular portfolio. It is a sign that people find the work I have done so far to have potential for greatness and expect me to achieve that greatness in my work,” says Lily.

Many University of Ottawa alumni have included a gift to the University and its students in their estate plans. To learn more about this type of philanthropic project, please contact us. Thank you for your support!