Heartfelt Family Connections for Momentous New Scholarship

AUGUST 23, 2023

Image of Trent Student sitting in Nature Area

Michael English '72 and Marley Waiser '71 support the scholarship for Trent students in the School of the Environment in honour of their late parents who had strong connections to the University

The Trent University Jim & Barbara English Prize is an important and heartfelt part of the English family.

Michael English ’72 (Otonabee College) and his wife Sherry Schiff established the prize for students in the School of the Environment in honour of Michael’s late parents Jim and Barbara. Jim was a highly regarded University staff member who worked as director of Information Services, director of Student Services, and don of Lady Eaton College (LEC) before retiring in 1990. Barbara, an Early Childhood Educator who owned St. Barnabas Nursery School in Peterborough, joined her husband as a don at LEC and the couple’s wise counsel, kindness, humour, and easygoing natures made them popular with students.

“Yet it was Mom and Dad’s mutual love of nature and passion for protecting the natural environment that inspired us to create the scholarship,” says Michael. “We are thrilled to honour our parents by offering this prize to students whose research in the School of the Environment is an extraordinary force for change in ensuring healthy, sustainable environments and communities.”

Donna Doherty, director of Trent’s Campaign for Momentous Change, says this kind of community support is vital to ensuring ongoing student success.

“We thank the English family for honouring their parents with this generous gift that allows our students to reach further, think more deeply, and bring truly momentous change to the world,” Doherty says.

Michael and his sister Marley Waiser ’71 (Catharine Parr Traill College) both studied the Sciences at Trent, getting a world-class education and hands-on learning opportunities before going on to careers in hydrology and aquatic ecology respectively.

Marley, a research scientist with Environment Canada whose husband Dr. Bill Waiser ’71 (Champlain College) has received Trent’s Distinguished Alumni Award, also supports the fund.

“Mom and Dad were amazing people and the years they spent as dons at Lady Eaton, and the accompanying interaction with students, were one of the highlights of their lives,” Marley says. “It is a fitting tribute to them that this environmental prize was established in their memory.”

The English family includes Jim and Barbara, their children Michael, Marley, Jennifer, and Donna, as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The Jim and Barbara English Prize was established in 2022 and will be inaugurally awarded in Fall 2023.

The prize is awarded to a full-time undergraduate student entering fourth year B.A. or B.Sc. in the Trent School of the Environment who demonstrates meaningful volunteer work including an active record and/or ongoing commitment to volunteerism. Preference is given to recipients with personal integrity and an unselfish willingness to help others.

Consider joining the English family in creating Momentous Change by supporting the Jim & Barbara English Prize.