2018 Sir William Stephenson Scholars

Megan Rutherford and Taylor Hanson, ©UWinnipeg

Megan Rutherford and Taylor Hanson, ©UWinnipeg

Two very accomplished women in science have earned the prestigious Sir William Stephenson Scholarships for this academic year. Taylor Hanson and Megan Rutherford are both in their final year of study at UWinnipeg. Both share a record of achieving academic success and demonstrating extensive community service and volunteerism — which is integral to winning this $7,500 scholarship. 

“It is fantastic that two talented female scientists have won this year’s Stephenson award,” shared Dr. Melanie Martin, physics. “Both are dedicated students who have presented their research at many national physics and chemistry conferences and have been recognized for their work.”

To learn more about each scientist please click on their names at Hanson and Rutherford .

These scholarships, established in 1984 by Sir William Stephenson through The Winnipeg Foundation, are awarded annually to one or two students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, superior leadership qualities and the potential to make a valuable contribution to Canada.


Sir William Stephenson (1896-1989) was born in the Point Douglas area and exemplified the highest qualities of dedication and patriotism. In World War I, as a private in the Royal Canadian Engineers, Sir William suffered the effects of poison gas in the trenches of France. After recovering, he volunteered for service in the Royal Flying Corps and returned to France where he shot down twenty-six enemy planes. He was decorated several times for bravery and during this period he accomplished his paramount sporting achievement, winning the Interservice Lightweight World Boxing Championship. After the War, Sir William studied at Oxford.

During the early 1920s, Sir William returned to England and pursued a brilliant career in technology-based industries, par­ticularly those associated with communications and aircraft. He invented and patented the first device for transmitting photographs by wireless and played an instrumental role in the founding of the BBC and in the early stages of television development. He won the King’s Cup Air Race and encouraged and financed the development of the Spitfire aircraft and later the jet engine.

In World War II, Sir Winston Churchill appointed Sir William Stephenson as Director of British Security Coordination in the Western Hemisphere and his personal representative to President Roosevelt. Operating under the code name “Intrepid,” Sir William strove for anonymity from this time onward. He was knighted for his services to the Commonwealth in 1945.

In 1979, Sir William received an honorary doctorate degree from The University of Winnipeg. In 1984, he made a significant gift to The University of Winnipeg for the purpose of establishing the Sir William Stephenson Scholarships. Sir William passed away in Bermuda in 1989.

Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7130, E: n.ibrahim@uwinnipeg.ca


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