UFV celebrates giving at Changing Lives ceremony

Event brings together scholarship and bursary donors with the recipients of their awards.

In what was described as a cross between a blind date and speed dating, UFV benefactors and the recipients of their generosity got together recently to meet, greet, thank, and celebrate philanthropy.

The university recently held its annual Changing Lives awards ceremony at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre.

The casual format groups donors and recipients together, giving donors the chance to see who their scholarship or bursary benefits and students the opportunity to say thanks.

UFV executive director of advancement services Madeleine Hardin related how criminology student Nikki Dionne had wowed the crowd at a University Women’s Club meeting by sharing her story of how a scholarship had helped her.

“It meant the difference between working 50 hours a week and 30 hours a week,” said Hardin.

“Your gifts help our students in profound ways. We do change lives at UFV, and your generosity helps us to do so.”

President Mark Evered said the support of community partners helped UFV evolve from the “college that could” to the “university that did.

“I see passion, commitment, and talent in this room. I also see our future.”

Two students illustrated how important the support of the university and its donors had been to them.

UFV basketball star Nicole Wierks of Chilliwack, who is majoring in biology, minoring in kinesiology, and hoping to attend medical school, recalled the “sticker shock” of finding out that one textbook could cost $200.

“It’s difficult to be successful without the support of people who want you to be,” she said. “Not just family and friends, but donors too. You are investing in the growth and betterment of our community, and removing financial burdens and barriers has a cascading effect on other parts of our lives.”

Nik Venema, who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Business administration with an economics minor, is now enrolled in graduate studies. But, as he related at the ceremony, he almost didn’t make it through university.

“I had my choice of universities when I graduated high school and went off to one of the larger ones. But I tripped on the threshold, and was given a swift kick back out. UFV gave me a second chance. There will always be a place in my heart for this university and what it stands for.”

Satwinder Bains, the director of the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies and a key player in the fundraising campaign that launched the centre, spoke from the donor’s perspective.

“When we were fundraising for our centre, we knocked on doors the old-fashioned way with a theme of ‘higher education for a future generation.’ It was based on a dream, and our donors’ dream was that what they didn’t know, their children would know.”

Just Posted

Fraser Valley Bandits draft Abbotsford’s Joel Friesen first overall

Professional basketball team reveals 13 players selected at CEBL draft

Abbotsford council votes to increase their event expense limits

Increase needed in case annual conferences require significant travel, staff say

Plans redrawn for Fraser Valley Inn redevelopment

Owner of building scales back plans on inn site, adds proposal to build second low-rise

LETTER: Why is Jati Sidhu ashamed of his riding?

Lytton’s Christopher di Armani shares his dismay at the potential name change of the MP’s riding

Solitary confinement gets overhaul at Abbotsford prison

‘It’s more social,’ Matsqui Institution’s citizens advisory committee chair says

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Vancouver-bound transit bus involved in fatal crash near Seattle

One man was killed and a woman injured in crash with bus purchased by TransLink

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Most Read