Philanthropy in Ottawa: Hazel Smart-Patterson supports women in STEM at Algonquin

Distinguished Algonquin College alumna Hazel Smart-Patterson (middle). Supplied
Distinguished Algonquin College alumna Hazel Smart-Patterson (middle). Supplied
Editor's Note

Philanthropy in Ottawa is supported by WCPD Inc., an Ottawa-based philanthropic tax planning advisory firm that helps individuals and foundations increase the size and impact of their charitable donations.

Who: Hazel Smart-Patterson, distinguished alumna of Algonquin College

The donation: $100,000    

The recipient: Algonquin College     

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The inspiration: “I say to the scholarship recipients, enjoy what you are doing in school. Surge forward and work hard. Hard work does pay off. I am happy to give this opportunity for the next group of women to be in decision-making roles and to help them promote themselves,” says Hazel Smart-Patterson, distinguished alumna of Algonquin College and generous donor. 


In 2008, Hazel Smart-Patterson began to pledge bursaries at Algonquin College to help provide women opportunities to gain their education and enter the workforce. Her bursary commitment started with women in business. Now the bursaries include women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 

Smart-Patterson, a graduate of Algonquin College’s business management program, has pledged $100,000 to help ease the financial constraints of female students who are entering their third or fourth year of full-time STEM studies at Algonquin College.  

“For women in STEM, doors will open. You can open the doors with your effort and never-say-never attitude. I hope they are like me, as I never wanted to sink, I wanted to swim. I wanted to work hard, volunteer and make good decisions because life is not always easy,” says Smart-Patterson.

The eligibility criteria for the Hazel Smart-Patterson Scholarship require applicants to be in their third or fourth year of studies and maintain a GPA of 3.6 or higher. Annually, two deserving female students will be selected to receive a scholarship award of $2,000 each.  

“Hazel’s generous gift is not just a financial contribution, it’s a powerful message of support and belief in our students’ potential,” says Mark Savenkoff, vice-president, advancement and strategy. “Her dedication to nurturing female talent in STEM fields is inspiring. This scholarship will have a profound impact, breaking down barriers and opening new horizons for our students. It reflects a shared vision of empowering women to excel and innovate, paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive future in these critical fields. 

“We are immensely grateful to Smart-Patterson for her visionary support and the opportunities it creates for our students,” adds Savenkoff. 

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