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Scholarship

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Ruth Gorrill Dennis Memorial Scholarship
Application Form: Application Form
Occasion: Fall
Scholarship Type: Scholarship
Description: Granted to a returning UPEI student in their first undergraduate degree program who has achieved good academic standing and is in financial need; the donor’s intent of this scholarship is to award a student who needs financial help to remain in university.
Background: In January of 2017, Dr. Arnett Dennis (PWC Class of 1947), his wife, Maralee, and their family made a generous decision to establish a scholarship in memory of Dr. Dennis’ mother, Ruth Gorrill Dennis. Ruth did not attend college, but as Arnett remarked, “she should have.” She was born on January 19, 1891, in a house on a part of the Northam Road that was in the school district of Birch Hill, PEI. She was the first child in a large family; her full name was Ada Ruth Gorrill, but she always went by “Ruth.” She was a star pupil at Birch Hill School. One of her teachers visited the Gorrill home one evening to urge her parents to send her to college, which presumably would have meant Prince of Wales, but they took no action in that regard. Ruth did take music lessons, and became a competent organist. Ruth then went to live with an aunt in New Bedford, Massachusetts around 1909, worked in a shoe factory for a while, and returned to PEI in 1913. She married William Dennis in 1915. Together they had nine children; eight of which lived to grow up. Once her children were grown, Ruth became more active in her church as a choir member, Sunday school teacher, and long-time president of a group called the Women’s Auxiliary. Ruth’s son Arnett was born in Arlington in 1927, and moved with the family to Port Hill in 1931. He started school in April 1933 and excelled with regular moves to higher grade levels to provide more challenge. He was an avid reader, including books that his oldest sister Wanda had as texts during her first years at Prince of Wales (1932-34). He recalls his mother first telling him about scholarships. Arnett worked his way through college, but scholarships were a big help. He attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown, PEI and the University of Prince Edward Island is honoured to include him in its alumni family. In honour of his mother, Dr. Dennis and his family have established the Ruth Gorrill Dennis Memorial Scholarship Endowment.
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