To find Canada’s next generation of leaders, we must look beyond grades and rankings to find the promise of character.
At the Loran Scholars Foundation, we identify and support young people who have the integrity and courage to make difficult decisions, the perseverance to work towards long-term goals, the curiosity to better understand the world around them and the drive to make positive change in their communities.
Every year, our volunteers dedicate over 5,500 hours to selecting up to 32 Loran Scholars from over 4,000 applicants. Our scholars come from all walks of life and every corner of Canada, from Hazelton, BC to Montréal to Fogo Island, NL.
In partnership with 25 Canadian universities and our donors, we challenge our scholars to explore, develop and share their talents. Each Loran Award is valued at $100,000 over four years of undergraduate study, including mentorship and summer experiences.
By making long-term investments in the future of Loran Scholars, we’re investing in the future of Canada. See the impact our alumni are making on Canada and the world.
We are an independent charitable organization governed by a board of directors, working in partnership with universities, donors and volunteers. Recently, the Financial Post named us a Top 25 Canadian Charity (#1 in Education) based on evidence of good governance, financial transparency and clear evidence of impact.
LORAN, short for Long-Range Aid to Navigation, is a system that uses three points (for us, our values of character, service and leadership) to determine one’s course for a long journey. The name emphasizes the lifelong impact and values of being a Loran Scholar.
Founded in 1988, the Loran Scholars Foundation was the first national organization in Canada to grant undergraduate awards based on a mix of academic achievement, extracurricular activity and leadership potential.
Our founders responded to what they recognized as a gap in the Canadian system of merit-based financial assistance to university students. Such assistance tended to be directed to two groups － those with exceptionally high academic averages, via university scholarship programs, and those with exceptional abilities as athletes, via national teams programs. Only a small proportion of overall financial aid was directed at those who show promise of the leadership and other talents that will make their communities better places both during and after their university careers.
In the words of our founder Dr. Robert Cluett, at the heart of our work is the belief that “breadth, openness to challenge, and willingness to take risk are many times more important than any quantitative measure of promise.” It is a belief that we still hold quite strongly today.
Before 2007, Loran Awards were known as Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation National Awards. We changed the name to emphasize the long-term impact of our work and the three pillars of character, service and leadership.
Board of Directors
Our board of directors meets quarterly and has three standing committees: executive, audit and investment.
Nancy Young (Chair)
CEO & Owner, Elizabeth Bradley Designs
Mary Ann Finn (Treasurer)
Retired Partner, Deloitte
Patrick Cronin (Past Chair)
Chief Operating Officer, BMO Capital Markets
Senior Vice-President, Burgundy Asset Management
President & CEO, Montigo / Canadian Heating Products
Executive Vice-President, Power Corporation of Canada and Power Financial Corporation
President, Arts & Communications (A&C)
Executive Vice-President, Business and Corporate Banking, CIBC
Nancy Lockhart, O.Ont.
Chair, Ralph M. Barford Foundation
Chief Financial Officer, D2L
President, WestJet Encore
President, The Henry White Kinnear Foundation
President and COO, Shannex Inc.
Mamdouh Shoukri, C.M., O.Ont.
President & Vice-Chancellor, York University
Steven Uster (Loran Scholar ’97)
Co-Founder & CEO, FundThrough
Franca Gucciardi (Loran Scholar ’90)
Executive Director & CEO, Loran Scholars Foundation
Vali Bennett (Secretary)
Director of Administration, Avana Capital Corporation
Cornell C.V. Wright (Special Advisor)
Partner, Torys LLP
Annual Reports & Publications
Annual reports and audited financial statements
- 2015: annual report & audited financial statements
- 2014: annual report & audited financial statements
- 2013: annual report & audited financial statements
- 2012: annual report & audited financial statements
- 2011: annual report & audited financial statements
- 2010: annual report & audited financial statements
- 25th Anniversary Prospectus
- 20th Anniversary Prospectus
- Gucciardi, Franca (2004) “Recognizing Excellence? Canada’s Merit Scholarships“
Our small staff of nine employees works with a national network of volunteers, donors and university partners to discover and support Loran Scholars.
Franca Gucciardi (Loran Scholar ’90)
Executive Director & CEO
One of the first Loran Scholars, Franca has been CEO of the Loran Scholars Foundation since 2004. She leads a team dedicated to discovering and investing in young Canadians of exceptional promise. Franca serves as trustee of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and chair of College Montrose Children’s Place. She was vice-chair of Volunteer Canada and chair of its public policy committee. In 2013, she was one of 33 women named a Fellow of the International Women’s Forum. Read more.
Before joining its staff in 2014, Catherine volunteered with the Loran Scholars Foundation for over 25 years. She is also principal of Elements Event Management, specializing in large-scale event logistics and operations. In the past 10 years, Catherine owned and operated a variety of companies in the entertainment industry. She is vice-chair of the board for College Montrose Children’s Place.
Heather co-founded Loran’s Newfoundland selection committee in 1992 and later served as a volunteer in Ottawa. She became the Director of Programs & Operations in 2008. Heather has also worked as a guidance counsellor in Ottawa and special education teacher in New York City. She has a BA and BEd from Memorial University as well as an MEd from the University of Sydney at a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.
Carolyn brings to Loran 10 years of experience in the educational and non-profit sectors, both in Canada and in the United States. She is passionate about issues of community development, civic engagement, food security, environmental education, and youth leadership development. She holds an HBA in history from McGill University.
A graduate of the public administration and political science co-op program at the University of Ottawa, Kema joined the foundation in 2016. She has a master’s degree from l’Université de Montréal. Kema previously worked at the United Theological College, which is affiliated with McGill University, and completed co-op terms with the Privy Council Office, Public Works and Government Services Canada and the Population Health Improvement Research Network.
Lindsey graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2014 with a degree in international relations and globalization studies. She is intrigued by the daily inner workings of Canadian and international non-profit organizations. Previously, Lindsey worked at the Landon Pearson Resource Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children’s Rights at Carleton University. She is board treasurer and co-chair of the finance committee at KindSpace Ottawa. Lindsey is originally from Saskatoon.
Julia joined the Loran Scholars Foundation after working for several years in leadership development and communications at the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance. From 2011 to 2013, she served as a board director of The 519 Church Street Community Centre. She has a BA in geography from the University of Toronto and spent a year studying at Université Laval as a C.D. Howe Memorial Foundation Scholar.
Cameron recently completed a BSocSc in political science and psychology at the University of Ottawa, including a semester spent abroad at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. He worked as a Community Advisor in residence and organized the university’s Model Parliament. Passionate about education policy, Cameron serves on the board of directors of the Ontario Student Trustees Association.
A graduate of drama and film studies at Queen’s University, Anja is involved with independent theatre in Toronto and previously worked as assistant director to Albert Schultz, who was her Loran mentor, at Soulpepper Theatre. While studying at Queen’s, Anja was a programming director for a community youth arts organization and founded her own theatre company.