Howard and Linda Petch Scholarship

Howard and Linda Schlechte Petch

Howard and Linda Schlechte Petch have made numerous contributions to the lower island community and the University of Victoria. Their lives and work are symbolic of their penchant for hard work, leadership, academic excellence and community building.

Dr. Howard Earle Petch has been active and giving of his time and energy. After receiving a Bachelor of Science (honours) in physics and chemistry from McMaster University in 1949, he went on to attain his PhD in Physics from the University of British Columbia. Soon after, he joined McMaster University’s Physics Department and from 1958-1961 was Chairman of the Department of Metallurgical Engineering. He served as McMaster’s Director of Research from 1961-1963, and then became principal of Hamilton College until 1967. In 1967 Howard became Vice-President (academic), and a Professor of Physics at the University of Waterloo. Coming to Victoria in 1975, Dr. Petch served as President and Vice-Chancellor, and Professor of Physics at the University of Victoria until 1990.

Among the many contributions Dr. Petch has made to the University is the introduction of the co-op education program and the establishment of funding formulas for athletics and recreation programs. He approved the National Coaching Institute and National Training Centres at UVic and was a key proponent of the 1994 Commonwalth Games. Student athletes earned 25 national championships during his term. He has also served on numerous National Science bodies and committees and his interests are not limited to academia. Dr. Petch holds memberships with a number of civic bodies such as the British Columbia Arts Board, and the Arts, Science and Technology Centre. He is honorary President of the Post Polio Awareness and Support Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has also contributed to over 80 publications.

Upon his retirement in 1990, Dr. Petch received the Order of British Columbia and was given the title of President Emeritus at the University of Victoria. The Petch building at the University of Victoria, which houses the departments of Biochemistry and Microbiology, was named in his honour. Under the outstanding leadership of Dr. Petch, the University embarked on an extensive program of development and scholarship which has contributed to its reputation as one f Canada's foremost universities.

Linda Schlechte Petch is the President and founder of Petch & Associates Management Consultants Ltd., a company that provides public, private and non-profit organizations with corporate training and management in board governance, communications and organizational change. She has a Master of Arts degree in Speech Communication from California State University and has served on the Board of Advisrs for the University of Victoria Faculty of Business. She was named MBA Mentor of the Year by UVic’s business faculty after joining the mentor program in 2002. She also lectured in the Faculty’s of Education and Fine Arts.

Linda Schlechte Petch is currently Chair of the Victoria Airport authority and of the Health Employers Association of British Clumbia. She is a member of the Board of Governors of RBC Funds and RBC Private Pools, and a director of the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA). She has also served as President of Tourism Victoria and was on the boards of the Greater Victoria Hospital Society and the Sanich Police Department. Mrs. Schlechte Petch is a recipient of the Queen's Jubilee Medal, the YM-YWCA of Victoria Women of Distinction Award, and the Tourism Victoria Miracle Award.

The Howard and Linda Petch Scholarship is awarded annually to a Bachelor of Education student entering fifth year with skills in art, drama or music education, who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement with the potential to become an exemplary teacher in elementary or secondary school. Interested in applying?