Presidential Scholarship Recipient Excited to Grow Academically, Spiritually at Ambrose this Fall

Presidential Scholarship Recipient Excited to Grow Academically, Spiritually at Ambrose this Fall

Presidential Scholarship Candidates 2018

From the minute she walked onto the campus, Arianna Tenor knew she wanted to attend Ambrose University. Receiving the university’s most prestigious student award — the Presidential Scholarship covering full tuition for up to four years and valued at more than $40,000 — confirmed it.

This fall, the Grade 12 graduate from Westmount Charter School in Calgary will start her post-secondary journey — possibly pursuing a future in biomedical research or neuroscience — at a place where she can pursue her academic interests, continue her extensive community volunteer activities and grow her faith.

“In Grade 11, I attended a public lecture at Ambrose, and instantly loved the community,” Tenor says. “I felt at home and comfortable, and saw how wonderfully caring the people are.

“The university environment is important to me, and while many universities could be welcoming, they wouldn’t necessarily give me the support Ambrose can give me.”

Ambrose University Campus

Ambrose is equally excited to welcome Tenor to the family, recognizing her passion for making a difference in the world, and her potential as a leader based on her Christian character, academic achievement and community engagement.

“I have always needed to get involved, and to help improve my community,” says Tenor, whose church and community volunteer activities are impressive. At Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, she is part of the hand chime choir, helps with worship, is the local leader for Operation Christmas Child, group leader at Peace Camp and local organizer for Lutheran World Relief. In the community, she volunteers with The Mustard Seed and Calgary Food Bank, and at her school was on the Social Justice Club and Second Languages Club.

“It was really cool to know that all this work I’d done — academics, events and activities outside school — were all important,” she says.

“Even the process of applying for the scholarship helped me understand my personal growth. I’m so looking forward to attending this fall … to learning more from people from across Canada and around the world, and to being part of the community.”

Seeking academic and community leaders

Ambrose’s Presidential Scholarship was intentionally established to invite some of the world’s most promising young students to the university.

Highly competitive, the award draws applications from top high school students from across Canada and beyond. Accomplishments in academics, church and community involvement all are considered in a comprehensive selection process. Faculty evaluate and interview candidates, and select one recipient each year. 

“We’re looking at the whole person,” explains Hannah Temple, Financial Aid and Awards Coordinator, explaining that a resume, two short essays, a transcript and references from a teacher and a pastor are required for the initial application. Those who are short-listed applicants take part in an on-campus visit where they meet fellow candidates and members of the Ambrose community, are interviewed by the selection committee and write a final essay.

Eight candidates were short-listed from among 26 applications (the highest number ever received) for the 2018 scholarship. On campus Feb. 26–27, they were guests at a President’s Dinner, toured the campus and residence, attended chapel and took part in a panel presentation where current Presidential Scholarship recipients shared their experience and answered questions.

Parents, too, were invited to the dinner and met with Marva Goertzen, from Ambrose’s Parent and Alumni Engagement Office, to learn more about the university community.

Current Presidential Scholarship recipients from previous years also helped welcome the short-listed students and their parents. “Having the current recipients take part in the selection process shows that every candidate is assessed on their own merit,” Temple says. “There is not one program or ‘kind of student’ favoured above others.”

The process also gave all short-listed candidates the opportunity to experience Ambrose firsthand and see how it “fits.” This fall, six, in addition to Tenor, will attend Ambrose.

Recognition, motivation — and legacy

Arianna Tenor admits that receiving the phone call from Ambrose President Dr. Gordon T. Smith, congratulating her on being chosen as the 2018 Presidential Scholarship recipient, felt a bit surreal at first. That initial shock and excitement was quickly followed by gratitude.

“I’m so grateful that a scholarship like this has been established, because it can have a really positive impact on someone’s life, even if they don’t receive it,” Tenor says. “Just going through the application process is really special, and it says that being a well-rounded person creates a strong base for faith, and for going out in the world and making a difference.”

Hannah Temple knows firsthand that all student awards — regardless of their financial value —have great impact on the students who receive them. In addition to institutionally-funded awards like the Presidential Scholarship, Ambrose donors create and support many scholarships and bursaries highly prized by students.

“Student awards are a real source of encouragement,” she says, noting that they recognize the hard work and achievement that sometimes gets lost in the day-to-day reality of being a student, and can also help ease financial pressures. “Awards motivate students to focus more on their studies, which can really help with getting into graduate programs in the future.”

Donors, she notes, deserve much of the credit for establishing and supporting student awards unique to Ambrose University, making them especially valued. “They show that people believe in Ambrose and in the potential of our students, and also reflect donors’ own lives, interests and passions.

“In so many ways, student awards are true legacies.”

Ambrose Scholarships and Bursaries

LEARN MORE about scholarships and bursaries available to Ambrose students. Visit or contact our Financial Aid and Awards Coordinator at

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