Scholarship celebrates 70 years of Dutch liberation

Madelaine Liddy receiving the Dutch Liberation Scholarship It's not too often you get awarded something in the presence of a bonafide King and Queen. Waterloo Masters student Madelaine Liddy is one of few who can now proclaim such an accomplishment on a resumé. 

Madelaine is honoured to be one of the first recipients of the Dutch Liberation Scholarship and become a part of this decades-long connection between the Netherlands and Canada. May 5 marked the 70th anniversary of Liberation Day in the Netherlands and the long-standing ties between Canada and the Netherlands.

The Dutch Liberation Scholarship is intended to celebrate 70 years of liberation, while also honouring the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers from the fall of 1944 to the spring of 1945 during the liberation of the Netherlands. Seventy scholarships are awarded to Canadian students with strong academic backgrounds who would like to study abroad in the Netherlands between 2015 and 2017.

Madelaine first heard about the scholarship through the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and jumped right into the application process.

Once all the applications were submitted, we had a competition within IQC to determine which student they would be sending. It was kind of a whirlwind of an application process where we were required to give some information with 24 hours notice. It made the process very exciting and definitely helped me to just go with my instinct instead of agonizing over a decision for months. - Madelaine Liddy

As a recipient of the of the Dutch Liberation Scholarship, Madelaine had the honour of being presented her award in front of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima during their highness' visit to the University of Waterloo.

Meeting the Dutch King and Queen was extremely exciting. It really emphasized just how important this scholarship is to the Dutch people and how serious they are about thanking the Canadians for their support during the second world war. - Madelaine Liddy

Madelaine's family has close ties to the Canadian military, with several members serving over the years. Her uncle, Gavin Liddy, served in Germany during the 1980s and '90s and participated many times in the Nijmegen March in the Netherlands. Madelaine also has an aunt whose parents were both living in the Netherlands during the German Occupation. Later, they immigrated to Canada.

Madelaine will be spending a term at Delft Technical University in the Netherlands as part of her scholarship. She is looking forward to the experience, both as an academic opportunity and also a chance to explore the country.

Delft is a world-class university, and I am extremely excited to learn in such a place. I feel that research is best promoted through collaboration and this is an extremely exciting opportunity for my research. I am also looking forward to all the biking and exploring of the country and their culture that I will be able to do over there! - Madelaine Liddy

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