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Local entrepreneur leaves $40,000 legacy

November 28, 2018

Steven Murphy Legacy Cheque of $40,000

(Image above left to right: Jordin Beck, recipient; representatives from Steven Murphy's family including: Dan Merkley, Amanda Armstrong and Kathleen Murphy; April Dart, recipient)

A $40,000 donation was provided to Medicine Hat College (MHC) today in support of students completing the Bachelor of Business Administration program. The gift was split between two awards: $25,000 for a first year student to support their education for four years, and $15,000 for a third year learner to support the last two years of their business degree.

The legacy gift is from the estate of local entrepreneur Steven Murphy, who passed away on Jan. 26, 2016. Murphy owned eleven Subway franchises throughout southern Alberta and also owned Beltone Canada, a hearing aid franchise in Medicine Hat.

Dan Merkley, his brother-in-law, mentions that Murphy, who was known for his generous heart, entrepreneurial passion and authentic demeanor, believed very strongly in supporting the community and giving back to others.

“Steve just really loved life and took advantage of every opportunity he had. I think by donating to the college he felt that he would be giving students the ability to follow their dream, regardless of their financial circumstance.”

Murphy gave back to the community in many ways including supporting charities like the United Way and volunteering for athletic organizations like the Hockey Hounds and Medicine Hat Tigers.

“Steve believed very strongly in supporting the community that supported him and in giving back he felt he could help others,” says Merkley. “He was an integral part of not only the community, but his family. He will be truly missed.”

For Karl Schwonik, associate dean of business at MHC, this gift is one that he hopes inspires students to follow their passion.

“This legacy is a great example of the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in our region and the opportunities available to those with the skills, determination and fortitude to pursue them. We are thankful for his generosity and are excited to see the many doors this will open for our students.”

To learn more about supporting students through a legacy, and other various ways to donate to MHC, visit For information on the Bachelor of Business Administration program visit