TRU Foundation Board of Directors hosted this year’s Annual Campaign Breakfast in the Grand Hall of the Campus Activity Centre on Nov. 1.
The purpose of this year’s event was to reveal new plans for TRU’s science department and to appeal to sponsors to contribute to the further development of the faculty.
“There’s been much to celebrate in the faculty of science with Thompson Rivers University now being able to offer a bachelor of engineering in software engineering and we have our first cohort of students starting with us this fall,” said Christine Bovis-Cnossen, TRU’s provost and interim president.
Welcoming guests to the breakfast, she also mentioned that the university has “exciting research” coming in from faculty and students in chemistry, mathematics, the biological sciences, physics, statistics and the natural resource sciences.
It was also revealed that undergraduate science students now have the opportunity to conduct research in the earlier stages of their education and get hands-on experience with complex instruments.
Announcing that TRU has received its very first industrial research chair, Lauchlan Fraser, Bovis-Cnossen also asserted that the expansion of TRU’s science programmes is a testament of community supporters who have long fought for additional programmes to be offered at undergraduate and graduate levels to avoid students having to move away to complete their education.
“Many of our faculty of science graduates are highly successful with careers in medicine, medical genetics, high-tech industry, resource management, biotechnology and respiratory therapy and are exemplary of what passionate students can achieve when given the opportunity,” she said.
She also said that no qualified student is turned away from TRU and emphasized that the university believes that every person has the right to access high-quality post-secondary education.
Acknowledging that philanthropy is imperative to the overall success of TRU and its students, Bovis-Cnossen also expressed gratitude to the university’s donors and acknowledged the profound impact their generosity has had on students.
She also thanked TRU Foundation’s board and revealed that they were able to raise over $9 million, although she did admit that donations were shared among faculties and not just given to science.
Greg Garrish, president of TRU Foundation’s board of directors, said the past year has marked a milestone for the foundation.
“We received the single largest ever donation of $5 million. This was a transformative gift and was the driving force in our successful fundraising year,” he said.
He explained the funds were raised from both new and returning donors, fundraisers, annual mail and calling campaigns, as well as gifts from individuals in the community.
“Our success is possible only through the support of all these loyal donors,” he stated.
In that same light, Guy Mallabone, TRU’s interim vice-president advancement, said the annual campaign breakfast was not only a way to raise a few dollars for the university but was also an important opportunity to showcase critical programmes.
“We’re not only investing in the programmes here at the university, but we are really investing in ourselves. It’s a return on investment for the entire community,” he said.