Lasting tributes to two sisters


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Hendler sisters

Celia Hendler, BA’80 and her sister Sue

Memorial gifts to McGill are a special and lasting way to commemorate loved ones and celebrate their connections to the University. In the case of the Hendler family, two awards have been created at McGill to honor the memory of alumna Celia Hendler, BA’80 and her sister Sue.

In 2009 Sue Hendler, a much-admired professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Queens University, passed away from metastatic breast cancer at the age of 49. Through her estate, she created a scholarship at McGill to honour the memory of her sister, Celia, who had died in 2001, at the age of 44.

Creating a lasting legacy

“Sue gave a lot of thought to the lasting legacy she wanted to leave behind, and chose to support a number of community causes that were meaningful to her, including the scholarship in memory of Celia,” said Jennifer Wilson, one of Sue’s close friends and a member of her care team – a group of more than 30 friends and family members who supported Sue during her final months. “Over the course of her illness, Sue chronicled her experiences and insights in a series of newspaper articles for the Kingston Whig Standard. These were later edited by her friend and colleague, Christine Overall, into a book entitled Dying in Public: Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer.

The Celia Hendler Scholarship in Psychology is awarded to an outstanding undergraduate student who is enrolled in the BA or BSc program in Psychology. Preference is given to students who have demonstrated an interest in child or adolescent psychology.

“Thank you for helping to shape my future.” 

Hendler - Celia Hendler Scholarship in Psychology - Marc Saffran - Florida Rushani - 2822

Recipients of the Celia Hendler Scholarship, Mark Saffran and Florida Rushani

“Receiving a Celia Hendler Scholarship was tremendously important and necessary for me to continue my education,” said Florida Rushani, a third year Honours Psychology student from Albania. “I am so very grateful to have received this award, as it has given me the means and the confidence to conduct psychology research and succeed academically. Thank you so very much for helping to shape my future.”

Another recipient of a Celia Hendler Scholarship, Mark Saffran, recently completed the final year of an Honours Psychology program. “Thanks to the scholarship, I was able to continue research on my Honours thesis, which aims to create a pilot program for an academic intervention for at-risk Inuit children in Northern Quebec,” said Mark, who is now applying to PhD programs in Experimental Social Psychology.

In 2011 Mortimer Hendler BEng’49, father of Susan and Celia, funded the creation of a special award in memory of his daughters. The Celia and Sue Hendler Prize is presented annually to a graduate student in the Faculty of Engineering who is pursuing research in the area of sustainability, with a preference given to research in water management.


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