Public Speaking Contest Awards Winner With Free Tuition at Brescia



March 31, 2009

London, ON – Thirty-two female students from Ontario high schools are registered to compete for one year’s free tuition at Brescia University College in the Take the Lead public speaking contest to be held at Brescia on Saturday, April 4, 2009.

The Institute for Women in Leadership (iWIL) will host the inaugural contest for young women in grades eleven and 12 who will research and present on the topic of women in leadership, in keeping with Brescia’s commitment to help develop women who change the world, one leader at a time. The winner will receive full tuition for her first year of study at Brescia, provided she meets eligibility requirements. The top prize has been donated by the WCA. Second and third-place competitors will receive cash prizes, and all three will receive trophies.

WCA Chair Linda Callaghan said, “We are proud to collaborate with Brescia University College on this new initiative that will support young women in their growth as leaders in their schools and in their communities.” The WCA, established in London in 1874, is one of Canada’s few all-women boards. The organization has provided leadership for 135 years in the delivery of health and social services in London.

Take the Lead will empower contestants to build confidence in presenting their ideas in a public forum – a valuable leadership skill. Registrants are coming from London and surrounding communities, Cannington, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton, Simcoe and Windsor. All contestants will be judged on content and delivery in a preliminary round by Brescia staff and faculty members who will select the top five who will move on to the final round. The following panel of celebrity judges will determine the winners: Andrea Dunn, FM96 radio personality; Jane Fitzgerald, executive director of the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex; Janet Stewart, managing partner at Lerners LLP; Sister Joan Atkinson of the Sisters of St. Joseph; and Linda Bowden, senior vice president of Highstreet Asset Management.

Bowden is enthusiastic about participating in the competition. “I accepted the invitation to be a judge in this contest because I support Brescia’s unique approach to helping young women find the leader in themselves, embracing the natural leader qualities that women bring to our world,” she said.

Dr. Colleen Hanycz, Principal of Brescia University College, said that Brescia encourages students to choose leadership. “Leadership is not a set of personal characteristics that you are born with. Rather, at Brescia we believe that leadership is a choice that each person can make. Helping women to choose leadership – in their communities, in their families and in their lives – is something that Brescia has been doing for 90 years. We are incredibly excited to be launching this initiative at a time when the world is desperate for positive, authentic leadership”.

To learn more about the Take the Lead contest, visit


Brescia University College, Canada’s women’s university, is a Catholic college affiliated with the University of Western Ontario. The 1,100 women registered as full and part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences and Foods & Nutrition while pursuing Western degrees. Brescia welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity.

Contact: Rita Gardiner Director of Communications, Alumnae Relations & Special Projects

Phone: 519-432-8353 ext. 28293

Fax: 519-858-5116