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Awards celebrate students

If she had not won the Co-op Student of the Year Award, TRU Tourism Management student Michelle Davies would have to work more and study less. Because of this award, she’s able to push herself to a higher level of achievement while studying in her final year.

“Academically, the awards and scholarships I have received motivate me to work harder and achieve more as a student. Personally, these awards and scholarships say ‘I believe in you, your hard work and dedication is worth it, keep doing what you’re doing,’” she said before meeting the donor of her award at the TRU Foundation Awards ceremony Thursday.

“The funds I receive mean I can be more dedicated to my studies and have more time to give back to my campus and community. It is a powerful act when a complete stranger believes in you.”

Davies is one of 610 students who received bursaries and scholarships at the ceremony in the university gymnasium. Donors and students got to meet face-to-face as cheques were exchanged for gratitude and stories from the classroom.

A total of $672,603 was handed out at this year’s ceremony, an increase of $50,000 from last year. The university has also added 30 new awards from one year ago, 20 of them are endowed.

That brings the total amount dispersed by the TRU Foundation since April 1 of this year to $1,085,995 that went to 822 students.

“The TRU Foundation Awards ceremony is a special time for our university and our students. For the students, it is a wonderful opportunity to meet and thank the donors who so generously support them; for TRU, it is a reminder of the great support this community provides to our institution,” said TRU President Alan Shaver.

“All of these students have made great personal and financial sacrifices to improve themselves by obtaining an education. These students no doubt believe that a TRU education will not only change their lives, but will allow them to make a substantial contribution to their community as well.”

The TRU Foundation has been supporting students and the university for 35 years, during which time the endowment portfolio has built up to more than $20 million, said TRU Foundation Vice-Chair Greg Garrish.

Last year alone, the TRU Foundation raised $4.4 million for students, buildings and research at TRU.

“This could not have happened without the continued support of our donors and the hard work and efforts of the volunteers and staff team,” he said. “Today is the day our group works for all year and the reason donors contribute to the TRU Foundation – to be able to provide financial support to students in the form of scholarships and bursaries.”

Award highlight

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project announced it is giving the TRU Foundation $500,000 to go toward bursaries for students in trades, social work, research and environmental science. The gift marks the largest corporate donation to TRU in 2017.

The contribution breaks down as follows:

School of Trades and Technology: $200,000 in bursaries
Faculty of Education and Social Work: $100,000 in bursaries
Faculty of Science Applied Research: $100,000 in bursaries

Faculty of Science: $100,000

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