Leaving a legacy to inspire learning

Newsroom authorby Jill ScarrowNov 4, 2022
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Glen Blackwell knew a lot was riding on his time at Sheridan. He was the first member of his family to pursue postsecondary education, and his parents encouraged him to study in a field that would turn into a successful career.

He decided to apply to Microcomputer Management since, in the early 1980s, it seemed like a field of study poised for growth. He turned out to be right about that: whenever he wore his program jacket, plenty of interested passersby would ask him what, exactly, computer management meant. Hired at his first job a week after graduation in 1985, his knowledge of computers equipped him to build a career supporting companies as they began to shift finances away from handwritten ledgers.

“Hopefully this is going to make an impact on students and somewhere down the line they’ll pay it forward.”

Today, as Vice President of Finance at Lock Search Group, Glen attributes his success and ability to support his own children through their postsecondary studies (including a daughter who also came to Sheridan) to his time at Sheridan, and he’s grateful to his family for encouraging him throughout his studies, even when it was difficult. Only years after his graduation did Glen learn of the financial sacrifices they made, including asking an extended family member to cover his tuition.

“I wouldn't be in this situation (in my career) and financially stable (without that),” he says. “I know that made a huge impact on my mom.”

It made such an impression that years later, his mother Delores Blackwell wanted to ensure she extended the kindness her family showed Glen to others. When she passed away in 2021, Delores left a gift of $25,000 to Sheridan in her estate which will go directly to support students in financial need.

Dolores and Glen Blackwell
Delores Blackwell (left) made a gift in her estate in honour of the support her son Glen (right) received to finish his education at Sheridan. (photos courtesy of Glen Blackwell)

“She wanted to ensure that somebody else was helped out in the same way I was,” Glen says.

Thanks to her generosity, this fall, Sheridan created the Delores Blackwell Memorial Bursary to offer a $1,500 bursary to a student in fourth year who has demonstrated financial need. The bursary is available to students who, like Glen, are studying in some of the newest programs in areas poised for growth including the Bachelor of Computer Science (Mobile Computing), the Bachelor of Information Sciences (Cybersecurity), or the Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering.

Glen says it’s a fitting way to ensure that her values and commitment to postsecondary education live on, and he hopes the bursary will give students the extra bit of support they need to finish their degree.

“Hopefully this is going to make an impact on students and somewhere down the line they’ll pay it forward, whether it’s a monetary (gift), or in training or mentoring,” he says. “I hope they remember that somebody helped them along the way. I think of that every single day.”

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