Robert Herchak Graduate Scholarship in Ukrainian Studies

The Robert Herchak Scholarship has been established in his name in recognition of his many years  of leadership in the Ukrainian Canadian community. 

Robert Herchak graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters  in Social Work. His professional career included line and middle management positions with the governments of the Northwest Territories, Manitoba, British Columbia and Canada. He retired in 2007.

Robert has a long history of being involved with various Ukrainian organizations, usually at the Board level. He and his wife moved to Victoria in 1982 where he immersed himself in an active leadership role in several local, provincial and national Ukrainian Canadian secular and church organizations. He was the first president of the Victoria branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress  and was also its provincial president. In the late 1980s he served a three-year term as president of the National Ukrainian Catholic Congress. Locally Robert has been a long standing Board member of the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, and the long-serving president of the Ukrainian Studies Society.

In addition to promoting Ukrainian culture and education, one of the Society’s mandates has been the provision of scholarships and bursaries for students at a post-secondary level taking Ukrainian courses or otherwise actively involved in the local Ukrainian Canadian community. In the mid-1990s, under the direction of Board member Peter Shostak, the Society undertook fundraising to establish an endowed scholarship fund for students from Ukraine to complete a baccalaureate program at Lester B. Pearson College. The goal of $150,000 was attained in 2000. In 2004 the Society undertook the task of establishing a Ukrainian Studies Endowment Fund at the University of Victoria for the provision of courses in Ukrainian language and history, visiting speakers, and student scholarships. The goal of $150,000 was achieved in 2017 and Ukrainian courses are now offered regularly at the University of Victoria in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies.

Under Robert’s direction, the Society has now embarked on two new projects: one being a major upgrade to the library at the Ukrainian Cultural Center that will enable the academic community and general public to have access to its resource materials. The second project is an additional $150,000 enhancement of the endowed scholarship fund for students from Ukraine at Lester B. Pearson College.

Return to Index