London, Ont. vehicle attack: Western University launches memorial scholarships

(From right to left) Salman Afzaal, his 74-year-old mother, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal. Supplied by family

Western University is launching scholarships in honour of Madiha Salman and Salman Afzaal, two of the victims of the June 6 London, Ont., vehicle attack, which also killed their 15-year-old daughter and Salman’s mother and severely injured their nine-year-old son.

A 20-year-old is facing terrorism charges in the case.

Read more: Removal of makeshift memorial at site of London, Ont. vehicle attack begins

The university says the Madiha Salman Memorial Scholarship in Civil and Environmental Engineering will be awarded annually to a female full-time graduate student enrolled in a doctoral or master’s program and whose research is focused on environmental engineering.

Salman was pursuing her PhD when she was killed, which Western awarded to her posthumously.

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The Salman Afzaal Memorial Scholarship in Physical Therapy will be awarded annually to a full-time graduate student enrolled in a doctoral or master’s program in health and rehabilitation sciences, with preference to students “involved in leadership, research and/or innovation in physical therapy,” Western says.

Afzaal, who worked as a physiotherapist in long-term care, earned his master’s degree at Western University.

Read more: ‘Taken too soon’ — Funeral held for London, Ont., family killed in attack

Western says the scholarships are endorsed by both the Afzaal and Salman families. A spokesperson for Western says that the opportunity to contribute to Afzaal’s award will not be made publicly available in keeping with the family’s wishes.

Both scholarships could be awarded to students as early as this fall. The amount of the awards is not yet known “as fundraising efforts have just begun,” a spokesperson told Global News.

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“We hope these scholarships will help to carry on the incredibly positive legacies they have left at Western,” said university president Alan Shepard.

“We want to remember them as they lived: as a devoted family, as Western scholars and researchers, and as caring and well-loved members of the broader community.”

The university says it will also be hosting a virtual memorial service on July 29 from 1 to 2 p.m.

“Members of the campus community are welcome to attend. Information on accessing the livestream of the memorial will be shared in the coming days,” Western says.

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