by Sophy Khwaja
When an endowment was made as part of the universitys recent capital
campaign to establish the Norman D. Hébert Masters Fellowship,
the idea was to award a single student annually based on academic merit
and financial need.
The second recipient of the award, for 2001-02, was Girish Parvate-Patil,
who started his masters of applied science in the Department of
Mechanical Engineering last September. He donated some of his $4,100 scholarship
to create endowments for students in their final year of engineering studies
at his old college in India, Kolhapur Institute of Technology College
of Engineering (KIT).
He established three annual awards, one in the name of his parents and
the other two named after friends. The awards of 1,000 rupees, equivalent
to $35 Canadian, may sound modest to us, but will be very helpful to the
This is how the mechanism of good things and positive contribution
works, Girish said. One person starts by contributing to humanity
and the link continues endlessly.
Hébert, a 50-year veteran of the automobile industry, belongs to
the Rectors and Millennium Circles, two gift societies recognizing
Concordias elite donors. The Hébert fellowship is awarded
to full-time mechanical engineering graduate students specializing in
Parvate-Patils interest in automobiles was a childhood passion.
His undergraduate project on internal combustion engines in India led
to the nomination that brought him to Concordia, where he is researching
solenoid operated intake and exhaust valves with position feedback.
When they heard about his gift to his old school, Girish said, all
the professors and my parents were full of joy. But trust me, I am not
worrying about the reaction of the people, I want to encourage the students
to do their best. I may go back to present these awards some time in future,
but it is not possible for me to go every year. My friends will present
these awards on my behalf.
In India, I always thought about making a positive contribution
to my own country. Now I feel like I am a citizen of the world. The world
is my country, and I want to contribute to it endlessly, as Norman Hébert
A version of this article by Sophy Khwaja appeared in the Engineering
and Computer Science quarterly.