McKenna Scholars Program is enhanced with generous $300,000 gift from John Khoury

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An incredible opportunity to further support women and Indigenous students studying computer science at UNB has very recently occurred.

Nghi La, UNBSJ John Khoury Scholarship recipient/UNB Communications

The McKenna institute released that John Khoury gave a generous gift of 300,000 dollars to support the McKenna Scholars Program at UNB.

The John Khoury Scholarships will be valued at 15,000 dollars each and awarded annually to four excellent students enrolled in either the Bachelor of Computer Science or the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Preference for the scholarships will be given to women and Indigenous students.

This years’ recipients of the John Khoury Scholarships include Ashley King of Hanwell, Nghi La of Saint John, Taylor Short of Saint John, and Olivia Wells of Oromocto.

The Fredericton campus is proud to have King, Short, and Wells within their computer science faculty, and the Saint John campus is equally pleased to have La in their program. 

UNB Newsroom/Website

John Khoury shared his sentiments about the donation stating, “I have always admired Frank McKenna’s passion for inspiring New Brunswickers to reach their potential, harnessing the innovation and entrepreneurship at work in the province. It is an honour to join the McKenna Institute to support the next generation of technology leaders.”

There is no shortage of gratitude for the McKenna Institutes incredible support in UNB’s students. Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, president, and vice-chancellor of UNB shared a few words at the generous contributions:

“We at UNB are tremendously proud to work with the McKenna Institute in growing our computer science faculty to be inclusive, equitable and diverse. With this generous contribution to the McKenna Scholars Program, Mr. Khoury is helping to create opportunities for underrepresented students in computer science programs, giving them a place in New Brunswick’s exciting digital future.” 


The UNB Saint John recipient of the award Nghi La called the award “… a true blessing”. She emphasized her passion for computers and cybersecurity that she’s had ever since she could remember.

“This interest has never left me, but only grown bigger with each of my new discoveries. That is why I decided to study Computer Science and major in Cyber ​​Security. Obtaining a Bachelor of Computer Science with a major in Cybersecurity, would create a foundation for me to pursue my dream job of IT specialist in cybersecurity for the military.” La says.

Nghi La says that the scholarship takes away much financial burden and encourages her to pursue what she loves.

Ashley is a fifth-year student in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education concurrent program. Now in her final year, she hopes to further studies with the goal of promoting international advocacy for educational rights. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to her vinyl records, watching films, and hiking.