Conestoga news

October 11, 2012 2:58 PM

Supporting Student Success by Peter Findlay

Conestoga's woodworking students continue to succeed thanks to a generous bursary started by Peter Findlay, master woodworker and retired Conestoga faculty member.

Established in 1996, the Peter Findlay Materials Bursary is awarded to a woodworking technician or technology student with high achievement in the first-year materials course who demonstrates financial need. Since 1997, 18 students have benefited from the annual bursary.

Thanks to Findlay's contributions, corporate donations and matching funds from the Government of Ontario, the endowment has now reached $100,000.

Many recipients have shared their appreciation through letters of gratitude sent to Findlay. A 2011 recipient wrote, "This award has proven to be one of the key factors that allowed me to remain motivated and determined to strive for success in both school and in the woodworking industry."

Findlay, a former furniture design engineer, taught for 20 years in woodworking programs at the Woodworking Centre of Ontario in Conestoga's School of Engineering and Information Technology. He inspired students with his optimistic outlook on life and passion for woodworking, and received the Aubrey Hagar award for Excellence in teaching in 2007.

A scale model of a 1931 Chrysler Imperial constructed by Findlay from 16 varieties of wood is on display in Conestoga's woodworking building where it stands as a constant reminder of his dedication to his trade and his students.

Findlay believes that the bursary helps to inspire students in the materials course. "It challenges them to work hard and try new things," he said. "It has motivated them to work beyond what they think they could do otherwise." Despite his many accomplishments, Peter Findlay remains most proud of the impact he has made in the lives of his students.footer_Peter_Findlay.jpg