The Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University of Newfoundland will honour the memory of a former student on Wednesday, Nov. 18 during the Autumn Presentation of Scholarships and Awards.
The April Arnott Memorial Scholarship will be presented to a second-year student in the Marine Environmental program in honour of April Arnott, a Marine Institute student who passed away on Nov. 11, 2000.
“April was an excellent student,” said Jackie St. Croix, a longtime faculty member at MI. “I am very happy to see a scholarship in April’s name. I retire at the end of this academic year, so I’m happy the scholarship will be presented while I’m still working here.”
Arnott had only been an MI student for two months when she died at the age of 19, but there is little doubt she left a lasting legacy. Instructors and staff at the Marine Institute still talk of April’s love of nature and her interest in environmental issues. St. Croix beams with pride when telling of how April worked two jobs to help pay for her studies at MI.
“During her short time at the Marine Institute, she was always pleasant and relaxed and was a very calming person. She had a real sweetness to her,” said St. Croix. “We felt like we knew her much longer than two months. She left a lasting impression with everyone.”
Arnott was a student in St. Croix’s Communications 1100 class and the MI instructor saw first-hand the relationship April had with her fellow students. St. Croix says Arnott was loved by her classmates because she was always willing to lend a helping hand with both MI-related projects and extracurricular activities. Arnott was a friend to everyone, says St. Croix, a person her classmates quickly learned they could count on.
“She helped those around her and made the classroom a warm place,” said St. Croix. “April encouraged her fellow students and motivated them to stick with things. She seemed older than 19.”
The April Arnott Memorial Scholarship is based partly on students’ grades, but in order to qualify for the scholarship, students must also make a contribution to the wellbeing and personal development of their fellow students. St. Croix feels this is a crucial component of a scholarship named after April Arnott.
“She was always thoughtful, so I can see why the scholarship would include that component,” St. Croix said.
The funding for the April Arnott Memorial Scholarship was raised primarily by members of the Department of Human Resources at Memorial University. April’s mother Hilda works in the department and the fundraising efforts of her co-workers were done to honour April and offer support for Hilda. The money was raised through donations from individual members of the department.
The April Arnott Memorial Scholarship will be awarded during MI’s Autumn Presentation of Scholarships and Awards on Wednesday, Nov.18. Seventy-nine scholarships will be presented throughout the evening, including 15 new entrance scholarships for first-year Marine Institute students.
The ceremony begins at 8 p.m. in the MI gymnasium at the Marine Institute’s Ridge Road. campus in St. John’s.