A $2-million donation from the charitable foundation of the Guelph Gryphons’ former football head coach and his wife will launch a new scholarship program to promote humanitarian research at the University of Guelph.

The donation by the Angel Gabriel Foundation, the charity started by Stu Lang and his wife, Kim, was announced by U of G president Franco Vaccarino at a dinner held Feb. 23 at Cutten Fields. The donation will establish the Summerlee Humanitarian Scholarship, named for former U of G president Alastair Summerlee.

“We are grateful for all the Lang family has done for the University of Guelph, and are thankful for this extremely generous gift to fund this scholarship program,” Vaccarino said.

“The Lang family has long been outstanding supporters of U of G, and this gift will make a big difference in the lives of our students.”

Five undergraduate scholarships will be available each year to students in any program. The awards, worth $10,000 each with an additional $4,000 available for travel costs, will support students who have demonstrated a commitment to humanitarian efforts, including initiatives for refugees, displaced persons and others affected by conflict and natural disasters.

“The scholarships are designed to assist these students in expanding their efforts overseas to assist or advocate on behalf of these groups or to participate in a conference dealing with these issues,” said Vaccarino.

The first cohort of recipients will be awarded in the fall of 2016.

At the dinner, Kim Lang spoke about her support of the university, including serving on the board of the Ontario Veterinary College’s Pet Trust.

“We have been very blessed and this was something we wanted to do for some time,” she said. “We hope this gift will support our most caring and passionate students for many years to come.”

Having led the Gryphons to an Ontario University Athletics Yates Cup championship this past season, Stu Lang recently took on an advisory role with the football team.

Citing Summerlee’s support of the Gryphon football program and his passion for justice and service, Lang said, “We saw Alastair’s vision and desire for the U of G to change and improve lives not just here in Canada but around the world. Going forward, I hope to find more students walking in his footsteps.”

Summerlee, who also attended the dinner, said he was honoured to have the scholarship program named after him. He now teaches at the Ontario Veterinary College.

“The Langs are among the kindest and most generous people I know,” Summerlee said.

“I believe this scholarship program shows the genuine concern they have for people in need. They are very selfless and committed to making a long-term impact worldwide.”