By: Dan Pino/Golf Canada
Scholarship fund in honour of the Canadian golf legendary competitor and administrator will celebrate Bourassa’s deep legacy as a long-time supporter of the game
Jocelyne Bourassa Scholarship Program launched during the Golf Canada Foundation’s annual Trustee Cup as part of Foundation’s $70 million DRIVE Campaign
One of Canadian golf’s most accomplished and admired ambassadors will be celebrated with a new legacy scholarship fund in honour of the late great, Jocelyne Bourassa.
The Jocelyne Bourassa Scholarship Program will provide impactful education opportunities for women in Canadian golf who are developing their careers as professional coaches or professional players. The goal of the scholarship fund is to advance more Canadian women into positions of prominence as leaders and role models for golf in Canada.
The launch of the Jocelyne Bourassa Scholarship Program was recently announced by the Golf Canada Foundation at Hamilton Golf & Country Club during its annual Trustee Cup, a Foundation event that honours donors for contributions towards First Tee and Team Canada.
The Jocelyne Bourassa Scholarship Program was established through a committee – led by former Golf Canada President Diane Dunlop-Hébert, PGA of Canada Professional Emeritus Debbie Savoy Morel, former LPGA and PGA of Canada Professional Christine Greatrex, and trusted colleague Libby Skinner – who were inspired to give back as a tribute to their friend and mentor. To date the fund has raised over $300,000, with a goal to reach a $750,000 endowment.
“With her LPGA win in 1973, Jocelyne not only inspired an entire nation of golfers but inspired Canadian athletes in their quest to represent Canada in international championships in all sports. Jocelyne went on to make the DuMaurier Classic the best recognized and most attended event on the LPGA Tour,” said Diane Dunlop-Hébert, who served as President of Golf Canada in 2012. “She was a beloved and outstanding mentor to golfers and golf administrators everywhere.”
The Jocelyne Bourassa Scholarship Program will provide support to women in two primary ways. The first is funding the educational needs of professional high-performance coaches by enhancing the Golf Canada and PGA of Canada’s Women in Coaching program. The second will provide university scholarship support to Canadian women who wish to continue their post-secondary educations while also competing in professional golf.
Bourassa, who passed away Aug. 4, 2021, is revered as one of the premier athletes and ambassadors for Canadian golf over a distinguished 60-year career. After a successful amateur career that included three Quebec Juniors, four Quebec Amateurs, Bourassa turned professional in 1972 and was named both LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year and Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year.
Bourassa won the inaugural La Canadienne in 1973 (now the CP Women’s Open) in her second season on the LPGA Tour, a signature moment in Canadian golf. She would later become executive director of the former du Maurier Classic (now CP Women’s Open), served on the LPGA Board of Sponsors, and also provided support and mentorship to countless Canadian athletes through her leadership of the Canadian Women’s Tour and the Jocelyne Bourassa Series. Bourassa’s career as a player and administrator was honoured with the Order of Canada as well induction into the Quebec Golf Hall of Fame, Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, and Canada Sports Hall of Fame.
“For the young women who had the privilege of getting to know Jocelyne very well, she was not only an inspiration and a model for all of us, but she was also a mentor who taught us so much about how to be a professional in golf or any field or path we choose in life,” said friend and PGA of Canada professional Anne Chouinard. “She taught us compassion, generosity as well as perseverance and determination. She made the world a better place. We will never forget Jocelyne.”
The launch of the Jocelyne Bourassa Scholarship fund aligns with the Foundation’s new $70 million DRIVE Campaign, a major fundraising campaign launched earlier this year in support of First Tee – Canada as well the Team Canada high performance program. To date, more than 54% (approx. $38 million) of the $70 million DRIVE Campaign fundraising goal has been raised.
“The roll-out of the Jocelyne Bourassa Scholarship Program as an extension of the DRIVE campaign will help develop a pathway for more women to become world-class high-performance coaches and also support the competitive pathway of Canadian athletes pursuing their LPGA Tour dream without having to make educational sacrifices,” said Golf Canada Foundation CEO, Martin Barnard. “Jocelyne has a been such an icon in our sport and is now an extremely deserving namesake for this meaningful program.”