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Giving to UNB

Lady Vi Aitken Scholarship

The Lady Vi Aitken Scholarships complement UNB's Beaverbrook Scholars Award program, supporting top international students with a $40,000 renewable scholarship ($10,000 annually, renewable). 

Students receiving the Lady Vi Aitken Scholarship - Lady Vi Scholars - will be academic leaders, joining their New Brunswick colleagues as leaders at UNB. Lady Vi Scholars increase diversity in our community and foster a broader sense of global awareness and inclusion, aligning with UNB's values and those of the Aitken family.

Apply for the Lady Vi Aitken Scholarship today.

About Lady Vi

Lady Violet Aitken (LLD’90), fondly known to the UNB community as ‘Vi,’ was the first female chancellor of UNB and served from 1982 to 1992, and as chancellor emerita thereafter. She died on February 18, 2021, at the age of 94. Her marriage to Sir Max Aitken brought her into New Brunswick’s orbit and sparked what would become a lifelong love of the province and of Canada.

Lady Vi was the third member of the Aitken family to hold the chancellorship. She succeeded her husband as chancellor of UNB in 1982 when he became seriously ill and felt he could no longer fulfill the duties of the office. Her acceptance of the appointment maintained the Aitken family's long and special association with UNB. Sir Max had succeeded his father, Lord Beaverbrook, who served as chancellor from 1947 to 1964.

Lady Vi was on the board of the Beaverbrook Foundation and the driving force behind many of the foundation’s key projects. She was a generous supporter of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and The Playhouse.

Honorary degree

The university conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree upon Lady Vi in 1990. As university orator Stephen Patterson said in her honorary degree citation: "She has been loyal not only to the university but to the province as a whole.” Through her role as director of the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation, she has generously supported the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, The Playhouse, and the Aitken Bicentennial Centre in Saint John."

In her 94 years, there was little Lady Vi hadn’t experienced or achieved. Many of her charitable interests combined throughout her life with a keen sense of adventure. Her hobbies include powerboat racing and flying hot-air balloons. A graduate of Longstowe Hall and the School of Citizenship in England, she was a private secretary to several British MPs and at the London Sun Express before marrying Sir Max in 1951.

How to apply

The Lady Vi Aitken Scholarship, created and maintained by the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation, is awarded to a top international student who is beginning an undergraduate degree program at UNB. Selection is based on academic achievement, and consideration may be given for involvement in extracurricular activities.

The award, valued at $40,000, will be distributed over four years. 

Apply for UNB scholarships, including the Lady Vi Aitken Scholarship.