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Lakehead Embraces Project Hero

(March 19, 2010 - Thunder Bay, ON) Lakehead University is pleased to join Project Hero, a growing, nation-wide initiative that offers a tuition award to the children of Canadian troops who have lost their lives while serving active duty. 

"Thunder Bay and the Region have maintained a proud military history for a very long time," notes Dr. Laurie Hayes, Lakehead's Vice-President (Academic) and Provost.  "Lakehead is pleased to offer financial assistance to children of our fallen Canadian Forces personnel, whether they choose to attend our campus in Thunder Bay or in Orillia."

In accordance with its involvement in the Project Hero initiative, Lakehead provides eligible award recipients tuition for eight terms of study in addition to on-campus residence fees for the student's first two terms.

To be eligible for this award, recipients must be:

  • A dependent of a Canadian Forces personnel deceased while serving in an active mission
  • Under 26 years of age
  • Registered as a full-time student at Lakehead University, in a program of study eligible for funding by the province of Ontario

Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario have maintained a proud military community for over 120 years, largely comprising a part-time Reserve Force. During this time, various volunteers, troops, battalions, contingents, and branches from the area have contributed to military efforts including those involved in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War, and have been decorated for bravery and outstanding service.  Today, hundreds of men and women continue not only to serve in various Reserve units in Thunder Bay and across the Region, but also as volunteers on a number of United Nations, NATO, and other international peacekeeping and humanitarian missions.  Over the years, the northwestern region has seen hundreds of its own killed or wounded in action, with most recent losses including Thunder Bay's Robert Costall, Josh Klukie, and Anthony Boneca during operations in Afghanistan.

Orillia and the surrounding area also have a military tradition, dating back to the War of 1812 when the British set up temporary naval bases at nearby Wasaga Beach and Penetanguishene.  Veterans and pensioned soldiers were among the first non-native settlers in the region.  Orillians later took part in the Northwest Rebellion and the South African War, and about 1,000 Orillians joined the Simcoe County battalion to fight in WWI.  Notable among Orillia's soldiers during this period was Sam Steele of the RCMP, who later served in the South African War and as a Major-General for the 2nd Canadian Army Division in WWI.  Base Borden, near Barrie, was established during WWI and continues to serve as a major training facility for the Canadian Forces.  Several Orillians also took part in WWII, and 78 local men perished in that conflict.  More recently, Orillians have served in various peacekeeping capacities and in the war in Afghanistan, including Mike McTeague and Tim Aleman, who both suffered serious injuries in separate incidents while serving the NATO-led force in Kandahar.

The Project Hero award program is effective until August 31, 2014.  Those interested in learning more or applying may contact Phyllis Bosnick in Lakehead University's Office of Student Financial Aid & Awards at 807-343-8150 or

Additional information about Project Hero is available at


Media: To arrange interview times with Dr. Hayes, please contact Maria Dufresne at 807-343-8181 or

About Lakehead
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative programs and cutting-edge research. With a main campus located in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead has over 7,700 students and 2,250 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006, Research Infosource Inc. named Lakehead University Canada's Research University of the Year in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit

Last updated June 22, 2010

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