Lakehead University Alumni Magazine


The seeds of the Hyndman awards were planted in the late 1970s – long before the Internet, Skype, and smartphones.

Published July 21, 2014
group photo of the Hyndman's siting together on a couch
William, Dorothy, and Michael Hyndman

The kindheartedness of the Hyndman Family has inspired an international Lakehead grad, who wishes to remain anonymous, to create two awards celebrating the Hyndman's generosity of spirit.

The William and Dorothy Hyndman Award in Nursing will be given to a fourth-year student to assist with travel costs for international clinical placements and the William and Dorothy Hyndman Award will be given to students in the second, third, or fourth year in any program with a minimum 75% average.

Families Come in All Shapes and Sizes

The seeds of the Hyndman awards were planted in the late 1970s – long before the Internet, Skype, and smartphones – when travelling overseas to attend university could be an overwhelming and lonely time.

But for our anonymous donor, leaving his home country and enrolling at Lakehead's Thunder Bay campus was a wonderful experience.

He had the good fortune to meet Michael Hyndman, a fellow first-year student who was studying chemistry. The two young men became close friends and this international student was soon having dinners and spending holidays with Michael, his father William, and his mother Dorothy.

Dorothy and William readily took on the role of second parents – adults that our donor could turn to for advice and guidance. The Hyndman's, who had immigrated to Canada from Scotland in the 1960s, knew firsthand how it felt to leave the safe and the familiar behind.

Northern Winters and Canadian Hospitality

Michael Hyndman also introduced our donor to his social circle including Michael's future wife Ruth and geology student Heather Brown.

Together, this tightly knit group of Lakehead students and the Hyndman family formed a strong support network. "What stood out was how social it was," says Michael, who is currently an associate financial advisor with The Co-operators in North Bay.

"We played football and intramural soccer and hiked on Mount McKay and the Sibley Peninsula. These shared moments broke up a hectic phase of our lives."

Michael's new friend even learned to skate on Lake Tamblyn – but only after Michael and his mother went shopping with him to make sure he had the right clothes for frosty Thunder Bay winters.

Since graduating more than 30 years ago, this Lakehead grad and the Hyndman's have remained in touch. But when the Hyndman family received the news last summer that two Lakehead awards would be established in their honour, it was completely unexpected.

Lakehead Supporters Make Us Extraordinary

Lakehead University would like to thank both the generous founder of these awards and the entire Hyndman family for reminding us that friendship and simple acts of kindness can have an incredible impact.

Now, the Hyndman Awards will give Lakehead students a helping hand as they chart their paths to academic and career success.

For information about how you can donate to Lakehead and change a student's life, please contact Philanthropy Director Jennifer Childs at: or by calling 807-343-8899

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