About 140 donors, students, volunteers and friends celebrated the success of the Brandon University (BU) Foundation at its Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, May 22 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 2018, the Foundation received more than $1.2 million in new donations and contributions, and disbursed more than $2.8 million to the University, including more than $1.6 million directly to student scholarships. All are significant increases over last year.
All told, the BU Foundation now stewards more than $65 million in endowments and funds and has disbursed more than $56 million cumulatively since its inception in 1980.
In 2018, more than $300,000 was received through the Annual Fund. This exceptional amount was more than $75,000 ahead of the previous year, and more than triple what was raised the year prior to that. Most donors through this annual appeal are alumni of BU who give regularly to their alma mater.
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 67 new and advancing members were honoured for 2018.
The BU Foundation also recognized 10 corporate President’s Circle donors and 107 individual President’s Circle donors, who together contributed nearly $1 million.
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.
“There are a lot of big hearts in the room every year at the Brandon University Foundation luncheon, and I am always awed by how much we are able to accomplish when we come together as a group,” said Foundation President Dr. Bill Myers. “This year, we raised more than $1.2 million for the BU Foundation, and that money will continue to support education, research and academic initiatives at Brandon University for generations of students to come.”
Ten new endowments were created over the past year, with the Foundation now boasting a total of 475 endowments, Myers said.
“These endowments support everything from new equipment and resources to scholarships and bursaries,” he said. “All gifts to the BU Foundation help enhance the student experience at Brandon University.”
Myers, who is concluding his term as President of the BU Foundation, will focus his efforts next year on recruiting members to the Foundation’s board.
“Being a donor and a supporter of the BU Foundation has been very rewarding, and I have been humbled to work more closely as a member of the board and, most recently, as President, where I have seen closely and first-hand the difference our efforts truly make,” he said.
BU students Parker Easter and Ingrid Flett were the closing speakers at the Luncheon, thanking the donors who were present for their support of their academics. Both have been recipients of scholarships and/or bursaries.
Easter just completed his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree and will be graduating from BU later this month with plans to pursue law school. This past year he was the recipient of the Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group Scholarship-Bursary in Business Administration, the Enactus Project Leader Bursary, the Enterprise Holdings Business Scholarship, the Murray Guild Memorial Award and the Portage Mutual Insurance Scholarship/Bursary in Business Administration.
Flett is in her third year of the Program for the Education of Native Teachers and hails from Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba. She is a recipient of the Seven Generations Scholarship, which is awarded to hardworking, returning students in the Program for the Education of Native Teachers (PENT Program) who plan to teach in a northern community.
“The incredible successes of students like Parker and Ingrid is inspiring, and it is thanks to the generosity of our many donors that we are able to provide our students with supports like scholarships, bursaries and access to specialized lab equipment,” said BU President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. David Docherty. “It is our responsibility and our privilege to offer assistance to our students, and I know that it is deeply valued by recipients, makes a tremendous difference in our communities, and can also be profoundly satisfying for those who choose to give.”
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.
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