Cheers to our Champions - The Léna Donald Memorial Scholarship

The Donald Family

The Léna Donald Memorial Scholarship in Nursing was established by the family of Léna Donald as a way to honor her time as a mature student in the Nursing program at Assiniboine. The award will go to support rural-based, mature nursing students who demonstrate a humanistic approach to nursing.

When Léna completed her licensed practical nurse’s training at St Boniface General Hospital in 1944 it was her first chance to spread her wings. It meant leaving behind the responsibilities as the second eldest of 13 children in a farm family and community that had experienced tough times.

After having spent the years from 1953 married and raising a family of four children, the opportunity to spread her wings again arose when Assiniboine College made a recertification program available. With her children grown, she enrolled in the program offered at the Brandon campus in 1981 and never looked back.

While she had been known in the Rivers community as a dedicated wife, mother and home-maker, the resurrection of her nursing career gave her a new identity to many patients impressed by her calm, reassuring competence during a career that spanned into the mid 1990s. It was a win for them and a win for her to once again enjoy the personal satisfaction that comes with being engaged in a career you love and helping others with her knowledge and compassion.

Léna passed in the summer of 2022 three months after her 99th birthday, survived by three of her four children. Part of the legacy she and her late husband Bill had instilled was the concept of giving back to one’s community. As the time of her 100th birthday approached it was fitting that those surviving children would commemorate her almost 100 well-lived years with a scholarship that would help to perpetuate her memory and facilitate opportunities to others to enjoy the self-satisfaction of pursuing the career she’d loved helping people in need of medical care.

Her children, Lawrence, Norma and Sandra are thrilled that they have been able to work with Assiniboine to create the Léna Donald Memorial Scholarship to assist mature nursing students from rural communities who have demonstrated competence in their nursing training to complete their goal. “We know Mom would be very pleased to resume helping people in and through the nursing profession,” they say proudly.

For more information on this scholarship and to apply, visit, click the “award search tool” button and search “Léna Donald Memorial Scholarship” under the award name field.