A $1 million gift to build bridges

The Dalhousie Difference series 

The Murrays, who spent time in Jamaica building roads and bridges, recently gave a million dollars endowment to Dalhousie Engineering for Jamaican students to come to Dalhousie to study civil engineering.

“One of the most important parts of bridge-building is people,” says Richard Murray (BEng’66 (NSTC)). “Whether you’re building a physical bridge or just trying to bridge a gap between people, it’s always the people that make it successful.

Mr. Murray and his wife, Melda, are paving the way for student success through an endowed scholarship fund they have established at Dalhousie with a gift of $1 million to the Faculty of Engineering. Richard & Melda Murray Scholarships will be awarded to two students from Jamaica who are planning to pursue a career in civil engineering. The renewable scholarships, which will be awarded in perpetuity, are each valued at up to $22,000 per year.

The Murrays ’ links with Jamaica span more than 40 years, including the decade they lived there. In addition to professional connections with the country, the Murrays have an important personal one – their son, Cameron, was born there.

Today, as president of the Halifax firm R. A. Murray International Limited, Mr. Murray and his team provide engineering, general contracting, material procurement and logistical services to countries throughout the world. They recently completed the project of building 17 bridges plus connector roads across Jamaica . They begin work on a new installment of bridge-building in April 2012.

And now the Murrays are providing a bridge to university education through their scholarship fund at Dalhousie. 
“ Jamaica gave us a wonderful experience in many ways,” Mrs. Murray says. “We feel that we owe that country something.”   By : 
Marie Weeren

This article is part of the Dalhousie Difference series, exploring what the power of philantrophy means to the university and introducing and showcasing some of the 50 innovative projects in development.  Learn more at boldambitions.dal.ca. 

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