Jack Scott never had the opportunity for a postsecondary education. But this successful business leader, recognizing the importance of a revolutionary concept called co-operative education, helped found the University of Waterloo.

Jack’s positive impact on Waterloo students can still be seen today. You’ll find his name in Founders Hall, inside the Hagey Hub; his daughter Eileen made a generous gift in his honour to help build this student space. Through two student awards initiated by his grandson, biologist Murray Wiegand (BSc ’74), Jack’s interest in the past and his vision for the future live on.

Murray, Nancy and Eileen look at a wall plaque

Murray, his wife Nancy, and his mother Eileen look at the plaque in Founders Hall that includes Jack Scott's name.

After Eileen’s death, Murray contributed a portion of the proceeds of her estate to endow the Jack and Annie Scott History Scholarship and the Jack and Annie Scott Aquatic Science Award. These awards honour Eileen’s parents’ strong commitment to both community and education.

“The awards reward excellence and, in the case of the Aquatic Science Award, I hope will prove helpful for someone who wants to pursue a career in Science,” Murray says.

That’s certainly been the case for Sarah Cook, a fourth-year biology student and the first recipient of the Jack and Annie Scott Aquatic Science Award. The award allowed Sarah to pursue her undergraduate thesis course — assistance that she says was especially welcome due to financial pressures imposed by the pandemic.

Sarah Cooke stands at a lab table holding two stuffed birds

Biology student Sarah Cooke is the first recipient of the Jack and Annie Scott Aquatic Science Award, which allowed her to conduct research for her undergraduate thesis.

Sarah’s thesis investigated physiological signs of stress in darter fish downstream of the Waterloo Wastewater Treatment Plant. Her work will contribute to a better understanding of how wastewater treatment can affect wildlife.

In addition, Sarah says “this experience has taught me so much about time management, planning a long term project with over a hundred hours of work, coordinating with a lab team that has several projects on the go at once, and what it takes to write a cohesive thesis. These skills will be critical for my progression through graduate school, and the Jack and Annie Scott Award helped make it possible!”

Nearly 65 years ago, Jack Scott made an investment in Waterloo students. Thanks to the thoughtfulness of his family, that investment continues to pay off.