BU alumnus Kerry Auriat, National Bank Financial donate $50,000 to HLC

September 27, 2018

A man and woman stand by a ribbon in front of the reception desk. A sign with the words Auriat Family Reception Desk and the logo of National Bank Financial are on the wall behind the desk. A man smiles while standing at a podium on the right of the picture.
Kerry Auriat, left, and Jennifer Schaefer of National Bank Financial - Wealth Management prepare to cut the ribbon for the renamed Auriat Family Reception Desk at Brandon University's Healthy Living Centre. Brandon University Interim President Steve Robinson, at right, looks on.

BRANDON – A generous $50,000 donation has given Brandon University (BU) another big reason to celebrate as it marks its 50th year as a chartered university.

Brandon University alumnus and current Board of Governors member Kerry Auriat is partnering with National Bank Financial – Wealth Management, to make a $50,000 commitment to BU’s Healthy Living Centre (HLC). In recognition of this gift, the front desk at the HLC will be named the Auriat Family Reception Desk.

“This is an opportunity to support an institution that has done so much for my family, as well as countless people across Canada,” Auriat said. “I am very proud to call myself a BU alumnus. I appreciate the important role BU plays in our community.”

The renaming and new signage were unveiled today at a reception in the main lobby of the HLC.

Opened in 2013, the HLC houses fitness and wellness facilities enjoyed by BU students, faculty and staff as well as members of the community. In addition to serving as the home of the Brandon University Bobcats athletic teams and the Department of Physical Education, the HLC features publicly accessible gymnasiums, a fitness centre, an indoor walking track, and a sports medicine clinic providing athletic therapy and physiotherapy. Other amenities include a large outdoor greenspace, classrooms and the High Performance Centre, which offers training for elite athletes through a partnership with Sport Manitoba. The HLC hosts sporting events from youth levels to national championships and is the site of many community and cultural activities.

“We encourage everyone to make use of and enjoy our campus, and the Healthy Living Centre is the venue where many people are introduced to BU, whether they are watching a Bobcats game, attending Mini University, celebrating the accomplishments of their family and friends at Convocation or the All Nations Pow Wow, or working out,” said Dr. Steve Robinson, Interim President at BU.

“The HLC is a facility used by everyone, from children to seniors, and on most visits their first stop and first taste of BU hospitality come at the Auriat Family Reception Desk, so we are extremely grateful to Kerry and to National Bank Financial – Wealth Management for their considerable support of Brandon University and this important community attraction.”

Born and raised in Brandon, Auriat has a long association with BU, first as a student, later as a sessional instructor, and now in his second stint as a member of the Board of Governors. He is a Vice-President at National Bank Financial – Wealth Management, one of the largest wealth management firms in Canada, with more than 100 points of service across the nation.

“National Bank Financial – Wealth Management is deeply committed to supporting the communities where our clients and our employees live and work,” said Jennifer Schafer, Regional Vice-President of National Bank Financial. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Auriat family in their generous commitment toward the Healthy Living Centre at Brandon University, who, in turn, have a mandate to promote a healthy, strong and more engaged community.”

Brandon University has spent the past year marking the 50-year anniversary of its chartering as a university. The festivities will culminate with Homecoming, from Oct. 11-14, as members of the first class to graduate with BU degrees celebrate their 50-year reunion. The milestone year has been highlighted by a number of notable acts of philanthropy, including an anonymous gift of $50,000, and a pledge of $50,000 made by members of BU’s President’s Administrative Council.