Madighan Ryan ’22 has been awarded the prestigious McEuen Scholarship. The award covers full tuition, accommodation, and miscellaneous expenses for four years of study at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Valued at an estimated CAD 240,000, it is Canada's largest single undergraduate scholarship. This scholarship is a recognition of Madighan’s academic achievement and co-curricular activities and an investment in her future leadership potential.

Joining Elmwood in Grade 3, Madighan has stood out through her commitment to academic excellence and her positive impact on the community. As a student in the Junior School, Madighan grasped every opportunity for learning and fun.

“She loved being part of the Primary Years Program School and unwrapped every new unit of inquiry like a birthday present. She would be so excited about learning something new that she would start researching and gathering facts and ideas immediately.” - Carolyn Wakeham, Teacher

In Middle School, Madighan learned of the McEuen Scholarship through a book her family had been gifted. “When I was about 12 years old, I got it into my head that I could win the McEuen Scholarship someday. I think the most common reaction from my friends and family when I found out I was the recipient was complete shock that I actually achieved what I set out to do in early middle school. I am proud of myself, but I am also proud of my younger self for setting her dreams sky-high. It feels amazing to come full circle and accomplish what I set out to do, and it validates the immense amount of hard work poured into school over the years.”

Photos of Madighan from Junior School

As Senior Prefect this year, Madighan has led her council with grace, compassion, and creativity, along with high expectations for the students involved. In addition, she has a passion for equality and social justice, which led her to help create the SAGA Club, of which she is also one of the leaders. Madighan wants everyone to feel included, supported, seen, and valued, and this is evident in the activities that she's chosen to involve herself with and in the classroom.

“In addition to her intellectual acuity and divergent thinking, I have encountered few students who garner the respect from their peers and faculty that Madighan does.” - Jason Levesque, IB Diploma Coordinator 

Driven by a passion for politics, economics, and the environment, Madighan intends to make good use of her skills and values throughout her undergraduate studies as she begins a joint Masters of Arts (Honours) in International Relations and Sustainable Development.

Madighan shared what it means to her to be chosen as a McEuen Scholar. “The McEuen Scholarship comes with a lot of history and, above all else, represents the legacy of the McEuen family, so receiving this scholarship demonstrates to me my newfound part in that history and my responsibility to carry those values forward. It means I will get to join a community of bright, inspired, and forward-thinking individuals who have also won the scholarship in the past and be able to build friendships and connections.” Fellow recipients include Elmwood Alumna, Erica Hunt, Class of 2002. 

As the excitement builds for what’s next, Madighan reflected on how Elmwood has prepared her. “Elmwood is an unbelievably supportive community: after my interview for the McEuen Scholarship, I had a whole room full of my peers who were waiting expectantly for updates as to how it had gone. My teachers stopped me in the hallways that morning to offer their advice and well wishes. When you engage in an activity with an army of people behind you who are rooting for you, that increases how successful you are because you know people believe in you. Beyond this, Elmwood also taught me the fundamental skills necessary to succeed in university. I know how to work, how to push myself, and how to manage my time to the tee; when I get to university in September, there is no doubt in my mind that my energies will be able to be spent on engaging with the material and seeking out opportunities rather than simply building a basic toolkit. And finally, you are awarded so many opportunities at Elmwood: I've started clubs, been a prefect, been sent to competitions outside of the school, been pushed to my limits, and all of that will inform the perspective I am going into university with".

We wish Madighan all the very best at St. Andrews in the Fall and we can’t wait to see where this incredible opportunity takes her. We have no doubt she’ll do wondrous things. 

About the McEuen Scholarship Foundation

The McEuen Scholarship Foundation was established in 1974 by Mrs. Dolly McEuen and her niece Mhairi Angela McLeod, who divided their time between Canada and Scotland. Driven by their love of these two countries and devoted to fostering relations between them, the McEuen family wanted to help young Canadian leaders pursue their ambitions. For almost half a century, the McEuen Scholarship Foundation has annually awarded a full undergraduate scholarship to one Canadian student for the pursuit of their studies at the University of St Andrews.

Learn more at http://www.mceuenscholarship.com

About the University of St Andrews

St Andrews is a unique and captivating place, and the University is a key part of its charm. Seven centuries of history link the students with the town, leading to the ancient and yet modern institution apparent today.

Learn more at https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/

This article was written by Elmwood's Marketing and Communications Specialist, Lindsay Germano