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U of T Engineering alumnus Nicolas Kordellas (MechE 5T9) and his wife, Shirley Tripp, have made a donation and pledged to endow scholarships to benefit students at the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and U of T’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering.
Their gift, which was made through the Kordellas-Tripp Foundation, will support nursing students and third- and fourth-year engineering students in financial need who demonstrate humanitarian qualities and beliefs outside of their studies.
Kordellas and Tripp have made a bequest that will augment the scholarship fund with an estate gift.
“Grades are not the focus,” Kordellas said. “We prefer that the money goes to students with humanistic values.”
“Students with high marks have a lot of opportunities available to them,” Tripp said. “Those without high marks do not … and they often need the money just as much.”
When Kordellas was a student at U of T Engineering, he worked part-time as a taxi driver to support himself. He also received various bursaries, but never knew the individuals who donated the money. He does not want this to be the case with the students who receive support from their gift.
“Our donation is our legacy,” Kordellas said. “We want the students to know who we are and what is important to us.”
Kordellas was inspired to pursue engineering by his great-grandfather Andreas Kordellas—a very successful minerologist and mining engineer from Lavrion, Greece. He also had a knack for technical subjects.
“I was always very good at literature, music and mechanical things, so it made sense to pursue mechanical engineering,” he said.
After moving to Canada and completing his degree, Kordellas’ career took him from Welland, Ont. to Fort McMurray, Alta. and many points in between.
Tripp graduated from Archer Memorial Hospital in Lamont, Alta. in 1968. Her mother, Velma E. Martin Tripp, started as a teacher and then became a nurse, graduating from U of T around 1945. Her mother’s career and work with young children inspired Tripp to become a delivery nurse.
“We both enjoyed our careers very much,” Tripp said. “There is very little about our jobs that we didn’t enjoy—all of our lives. It is the one wish we have for the students: to embark on a career that they love.”
The couple is now retired. Since 1976, they have lived in Sherwood Park, Alta. They spend winters at their home in Yuma, Arizona.
The first recipients of funding from Kordellas’ and Tripp’s gift will be awarded in the fall of 2015.
Jamie Hunter is a writer with the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Kordellas.