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White Rose program started in memory of Montreal Massacre

Twenty-five years after a gunman shot 14 young female engineering students at the Polytechnique Montréal, the university is remembering by launching two new initiatives.


Twenty-five years after a gunman shot 14 young female engineering students at the Polytechnique Montréal, the university is remembering by launching two new initiatives.

First is a $30,000 scholarship for a female engineering student who wants to enroll in a post-graduate program at the institution of her choice, in Canada or anywhere in the world.

The annual scholarship is being called the Order of the White Rose, named after what has become a symbol for the tragedy over the years. Calls are being launched at all the Canadian universities that offer engineering programs, with the winner to be announced in December 2015.

Nathalie Provost, who was wounded in the massacre on December 6, 1989, will be the “godmother” of the scholarship program. Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire will chair the selection committee. She was the first woman to graduate in civil engineering from the Polytechnique, in 1963, and is now chair of the Polytechnique Montréal board of directors.

The second initiative is an annual fundraising campaign to provide girls from less affluent communities with the chance to go to the Polytechnique’s science day camp, known as “Folie Technique.” People and businesses are asked to purchase virtual white roses as gifts or to mark anniversaries. A $10 donation buys one rose and pays transportation for a girl to attend a science activity. A $50 donation buys14 roses and funds a science activity in an elementary school classroom. A $150 donation buys 5 roses and enables a girl to attend a one-week science day camp during the summer.

While the program will be promoted during the “Week of the White Rose” before December 6 every year, the website will be accessible at all times.

In its fall 2014 issue, POLY magazine includes a post-tragedy feature that includes accounts and thoughts from women and men who experienced the December 6, 1989 event up close. Click here (French only).

For more information on the Order of the White Rose scholarship program, click here.

For more information about the fundraising program, click here.