About 150 donors, students, volunteers and friends celebrated the success of the Brandon University (BU) Foundation at its Annual Luncheon on Friday, May 11 at Harvest Hall, Brandon University.
The BU Foundation is charged with raising, stewarding and disbursing charitable donations to support the academic mission of Brandon University. In 2017, the Foundation received more than $1 million in new donations and contributions, and disbursed more than $2.6 million to the University, including more than $1.4 million directly to student scholarships.
All told, the BU Foundation now stewards more than $70 million in endowments and funds and has disbursed more than $53 million cumulatively since its inception in 1980.
In 2017, more than $225,000 was received through the Annual Fund. This exceptional amount was more than double what was raised in the previous year. Most donors through this annual appeal are alumni of BU who give regularly to their alma mater, with many donors taking advantage of the 50th anniversary of Brandon University to make new donations or to increase their donation amount.
Especially honoured at the Annual Luncheon were the new members inducted into the Order of the Sheaf, and those who have advanced to a new level of recognition of this honour society, which recognizes cumulative gifts to the BU Foundation of $1,000 or more. More than 76 new and advancing members were honoured for 2017.
The BU Foundation also recognized 13 corporate President’s Circle donors and 104 individual President’s Circle donors, who together contributed more than $720,000.
Over the past year, a number of donors also informed the BU Foundation of their intention to contribute through a Legacy Gift — a donation made through a bequest, gift of life insurance, or other means.
“Thanks in no small part to the generous support of many of you who are here with us today, more than $1 million was raised through the Brandon University Foundation for Brandon University in 2017,” Foundation President Dr. Bill Myers told luncheon guests.
“These funds will support everything from academic initiatives, and equipment funds, to scholarships and bursaries, research, and library resources. A number of new funds were established this year, including two that were established in celebration of BU’s 50th anniversary. The Brandon College Heritage Fund will support the preservation of the history and archives of Brandon College, and the 50th Fund will support each of our faculties and schools. All of the enhancements that are made possible by these gifts help BU to attract and retain students, and make the student experience the best that it can be.”
BU students Hunter Goodon, Brittany Beaudin, and Mohammed Agavi were the closing speakers at the Luncheon, thanking the donors who were present for their support of their academics. All three have been recipients of scholarships and/or bursaries.
Hunter just completed his second year of studies at BU, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. He spoke of his childhood battle with leukemia and how it has inspired his dream to become a pediatric oncologist, thanking BU Foundation donors for their support of him, as well as his future patients and their families.
Brittany, a third-year pre-nursing student at BU, told of her struggles in balancing work and schooling, including how it had impacted her grades. With scholarships that were funded by donors to the BU Foundation, she has been able to work less and study more. She has applied for entry to both nursing and psychiatric nursing at BU.
Mohammed is a third-year accounting student and the Vice-President External of the Brandon University Students’ Union. After arriving in Brandon from Nigeria, via Toronto, he said one particular challenge was the cost of some courses. Thanks to support from the BU Foundation and its donors, he was able to find his love of accounting, and he says he hopes to return to BU in the future to teach it.
“Students like these who are at Brandon University today will be make their impact felt in our communities for years to come,” said BU Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Steven Robinson. “As BU continues a period of sustained growth, and as we reflect on our 50th year as a university, this is an opportune moment to consider the lasting impact we can all have on the next 50 years and into the future. All of our generous supporters, including volunteers and donors, make outstanding contributions to the lives of our students, and those contributions will be part of a continuing legacy we can all be proud of.”
Donations to the BU Foundation are accepted in person or by mail at 270 18th Street, Brandon, MB R7A 6A9, by phone at 204.727.7374 or online at BrandonU.ca/Give.
Order of The Sheaf
The Order of the Sheaf is an honour society that recognizes those whose financial support has helped to ensure the advancement and quality of higher education at Brandon University. This year we are pleased to report that 43 new members have been inducted into the Order of the Sheaf and 33 members have advanced to a higher philanthropic level. Membership in the Order of Sheaf begins automatically when a donor reaches a cumulative gift level of $1,000 or more. Recognition levels are based on a donor’s total contributions to Brandon University.
Certificates were presented to the following new or advancing members who were able to attend this year’s BU Foundation luncheon:
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