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Jeff Kushner and Randall McGinnis donated $30,000 to the University of Manitoba to set up a scholarship for LGBT engineering students.

The donors: Jeff Kushner and Randall McGinnis

The gift: $55,000

The causes: Mount Royal University in Calgary and the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg

When Jeff Kushner and his partner, family doctor Randall McGinnis, retired last year, they decided to do something to leave a legacy and help LGBT students.

Mr. Kushner, who grew up in Winnipeg, attended the University of Manitoba and graduated in engineering in 1987. Few people knew he was gay during his high school and university years.

"There was a surprising degree of diversity in our class, though at the time engineering was no different than society as a whole with regards to inclusivity where LGBT people were concerned," Mr. Kushner, 54, said from Victoria, where the couple now live.

Mr. Kushner went on to a successful career in the energy sector in Alberta, something he credits to his training at U of M. This year, he and Dr. McGinnis donated $30,000 to the university to set up a scholarship for LGBT engineering students.

They also donated $25,000 to the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts at Mount Royal University in Calgary, a reflection of Dr. McGinnis's passion for music.

The scholarship is among the first of its kind in Canada and Mr. Kushner hopes it will make a difference.

"I want to play my part in helping to ensure that engineering is great for everyone who is willing to put in the effort," he said.