More than $85,000 was raised on Nov. 15 when University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford held its third annual Town and Gown fundraising dinner.
The funds go towards student scholarships, awards, and bursaries at UFV, bringing the total of money raised in 2017 that were directly connected to the Town and Gown event to just over $200,000.
Proceeds go to UFV’s Changing Lives, Building Community Endowment — supporting scholarships for students who demonstrate superior scholastic achievement, leadership, and commitment to the community.
UFV president Jackie Hogan referred to the university’s new coat of arms at the event, noting that it includes the phrase Iyaqawtxw, which means “house of transformation” in Halq’emeylem (the language of the Sto:lo people).
“UFV truly is a house of transformation,” she said. “Our students do amazing things, and continue to do so when they go out in the world as alumni. But they need a helping hand from donors and supporters like you. Thanks for your support!”
UFV recognized its Distinguished Alumni award winners at Town and Gown.
Emily Henry of Chilliwack, who earned a substance abuse counselling certificate in 2005, was named Distinguished Alumni for 2017 in recognition of her work with Indigenous offenders in the federal correctional service.
Alexis Warmerdam of Abbotsford, who completed the engineering transfer program, returned to her agricultural roots after university.
She received the Young Distinguished Alumni award for her role in developing Abbotsford’s agri-tourism industry through Bloom, the Abbotsford Tulip Festival and Abby Roadside, a Harvest Social (with partial proceeds donated to local charities).
UFV’s advancement office also announced a new way to support the university: the UFV Ripple Makers monthly giving club.
For a monthly donation of $43 (UFV’s age in 2017), members get admission to Town and Gown each year along with other special event and networking opportunities.
Dr. Malwinder Dhami of Abbotsford was recognized as a founding Ripple Maker because of his many donations over two decades, his influence encouraging others to support UFV, and his ongoing commitment.
His latest gift will fund a leadership award for a student transferring from UFV’s campus in Chandigarh, India, to continue studies at UFV in Canada.
UFV professor emeritus Darryl Plecas, current speaker of the BC Legislative Assembly, pledged $12,500 for a new award at the event, and is also a founding member of the Ripple Maker club.
Former Alumni Association chair Nik Venema and his wife Marnie announced that they are funding two new student award endowments with a donation of $12,500.