TRU receives more than $1 million in funding

Courtney Dickson, Roving Editor Ω

Approximately $1.4 million is still required to complete the Old Main project, according to Christopher Seguin. - Photo by Courtney Dickson

Approximately $1.4 million is still required to complete the Old Main project, according to Christopher Seguin. – Photo by Courtney Dickson

In recent weeks, TRU was awarded more than $1 million in donations and advertising space, courtesy of a local Kamloops man, a student-friendly bank and a local newspaper.

Guy Mercier, a long-time Kamloopsian and former owner of Acres Enterprises, announced that he was donating $250,000 to TRU at the 21st annual Foundation Gala on Feb. 2.

Mercier’s company was contracted out for the first time in 1990 and has helped build and maintain the main library, the Brown Family House of Learning and the Campus Activity Centre.

“He literally helped us build this campus,” Seguin said.

Mercier’s daughter recently graduated from the pre-veterinarian program and he said he has been connected to the university in a variety of ways over the years.

Mercier said his parents “instilled that post-secondary education was a requirement for the future.”

“I wanted to do something long-term,” he said. “For me, this is a sizeable donation and commitment.”

According to Seguin, the $250,000 donated by Mercier will be put towards student awards and the renovations in Old Main.

Tim Shoults, publisher at Kamloops Daily News and a TRU Foundation board of directors member, announced that the Kamloops Daily News would be donating $300,000 worth of advertising space to the university.

Over the course of three years, 2009 to 2011, Kamloops Daily News donated a total of $150,000 to the TRU Foundation.

Shoults said the most recent donation is “a reinforcement and expansion of our commitment to the TRU Foundation.”

“We appreciate it because it gives us a place to send our message. It’s a space for a clear voice,” Seguin said.

The $600,000 donation made by the Bank of Montreal in January will go towards the construction inside and outside Old Main, including the law school. However, Christopher Seguin, vice president advancement at TRU, said the university still needs $1.4 million to complete that project.

Though these gifts are presented to the TRU Foundation, 100 per cent of the funds will go towards TRU.

Seguin acknowledged that this year has been tough financially and “these gifts mean more this year.”