Scholarship Spotlight: Sylvester Award in Social Justice

Dr. Gerald and Marian Sylvester Award in Social Justice

This award is a significant legacy recognizing the many contributions Dr. Gerald and Marian Sylvester made to Corpus Christi. To say that these individuals played an instrumental role in the history of Corpus Christi College fails to reflect the magnitude of their impact. Without their leadership, there may not be a College at all.

The desire for providing undergraduate liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition was alive for the Sylvesters. They led a small group of mostly lay Catholics, meeting initially in their home, to create Corpus Christi. Dr. Gerald Sylvester is counted as a founder of Corpus Christi College and he served as Executive Director of the school.

This legacy of care is reflected in the award named in their honour, which invests in future generations, who will help transform our world. Awarded to students who demonstrate leadership in social justice within the College and the wider community, winners receive $2,000 for their second year of studies at Corpus Christi College. The award provides meaningful support to students who pursue social justice studies on the road to their futures.

Past Winner: Nicolo Whang Cruz

Nicolo Whang Cruz, the 2020-2021 recipient of the Dr. Gerald and Marian Sylvester Award in Social Justice, has a passion for social justice and a history of promoting it within the College and the wider community—and reflects the ideals that the Sylvester family and College wishes to advance.

A graduate of Vancouver College, Nicolo played badminton at the competitive level for more than 11 years. He is also active in serving the community, volunteering with food banks or seniors’ homes and helping with church activities.

This deserving student was challenged to balance post-secondary realities with a desire to serve the community and the time pressures of high-calibre sport, and found in Corpus Christi College the environment where he could reach out for needed support.

Nicolo relied on his community to not only overcome his own challenges, but to find the inner strength to show empathy, offer advice and be a positive influence with peers and teammates. He has been able to find the joy in every situation, and his contagious excitement for life and worship has been transformative. With his interest in local and global health, combined with his deep commitment to his faith and social justice, Nicolo is truly a student not only for our time, but for our future, very uncertain times.

Nicolo has his sights set on using his academic knowledge and considerable interpersonal talents to become a social worker, enrolling in studies at UBC. With a solid academic foundation and strong inner foundation, he is well prepared for any and all future situations and challenges he will encounter through this career choice.

“In the future, I hope to pursue the challenge of becoming a social worker because this scholarship has motivated me to modify society’s perception on injustice, and receiving this award fueled my determination.”
— Nicolo Whang Cruz
Recipient, 2020 Dr. Gerald and Marian Sylvester Award in Social Justice


Apply for the Scholarship

Applications for the Dr. Gerald and Marian Sylvester Award in Social Justice are open and due April 30, 2022. Learn more