Why McMaster Donors Give: Laurie Scott ’80 ensures her husband’s legacy at Mac

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The Daniel F. Phelan Entrance Scholarship will cover a Humanities undergraduate’s fees for all four years of their degree.

A McMaster grad has chosen to honour her late husband with a monumental gift, creating a new scholarship to cover a Humanities undergraduate’s fees — for all four years of their degree.

The Daniel F. Phelan Entrance Scholarship, established with a $250,000 gift from Laurie Scott’ 80, is a tribute to her late husband, an academic librarian with “a firm belief in the intrinsic value of learning.”

McMaster held special significance for Daniel Phelan, though he earned his degrees elsewhere. He and Scott were married there and held their reception at the Faculty Club. When Phelan died in 2014, Scott knew she wanted to find a meaningful way to memorialize him.

After considering many options, she ultimately decided that supporting education was most fitting to Daniel’s life and legacy. Having started their marriage at McMaster, and given the value she places on her own Humanities education there, Scott has chosen McMaster to administer the scholarship in his name.

The scholarship will provide one undergraduate recipient in the Faculty of Humanities each year with $10,000 — enough to cover the student’s tuition and some of the other costs of university life, such as books. Renewable over four years for a maximum of $40,000, it is the largest award in the Faculty.

“I am delighted to make this gift establishing a scholarship in the Humanities at McMaster in memory of my late husband,” Scott says.

“He would have been so happy to know that an award in his name will provide students with much needed financial assistance and demonstrate support for the value of a Humanities education.”

Humanities Dean Pamela Swett said, “We’re truly taken aback by Laurie’s generosity. We are honoured that she has chosen us as stewards of Daniel’s memory, and we know this scholarship will have an extraordinary impact on Humanities students for years to come.”

Elizabeth Way, McMaster’s senior associate registrar, Aid & Awards, said the size of the award is particularly important right now.

“At a time when students are feeling the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis, it’s hard to overstate how much this scholarship will impact its recipients. When a student receives an award like this, it can change the trajectory of their whole university experience. We are so grateful to Laurie for this incredible gift.”

Why McMaster Donors Give: At McMaster University, every single donation, no matter the size, has the potential to make a difference in the lives of our students, the quality of our research and our ability to give back to our community and influence the future. We asked some of our donors what motivates them to give. Learn more about what motivates Mac donors to give.

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