2005 News



December 2005: A family that was instrumental in the building and operation of the student residence at Okanagan College’s Kelowna Campus is continuing to support the institution through a newly established endowment.

Hans Berger has endowed $50,000 to establish the Berger Family Fund to assist students in the Entry Level Training or Apprenticeship Training programs in Carpentry at Okanagan College.

The Berger family was involved in the building and operating of the student residence in the early 1990s, says Kathy Butler, executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation. "The Berger family understands the value of the construction trades and are strong advocates of Okanagan College’s Trades and Apprenticeship programs. We are extremely pleased to recognize the generous commitment the family has made over the years, and now, to these programs. It is an area of tremendous employment potential and we hope these awards will enable worthy individuals to pursue careers in the construction industry."

"I came to Canada with a trade and made a good living in construction and when I see the shortage of skilled trades people, I felt the need to give back to the next generation," says Hans Berger.

The endowment will fund a minimum of one award per annum. Selection of award recipients will be based on a combination of academic achievement and financial need.

For more information about applying for this award, contact Okanagan College’s Financial Aid and Awards department at 762-5445, ext. 4119. For information about the endowment, contact Kathy Butler at 762-5445, ext. 4775.


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November 2005:  When Donna Hill completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) this spring she vowed to give back to the institution that gave her so much.

Hill, a single mom of three boys, took her courses in the evening, by distance education and in the summers, while working as a teacher’s assistant with School District 22.

"It wasn’t the easiest time and looking back, it probably isn’t something I’d recommend," Hill laughs. "But it gave me a strong sense of personal achievement and opened up many new opportunities for me. I wanted others to have that experience."

As the recipient of a couple of awards herself, Hill recognizes the value of scholarships and bursaries to students. She created the Donna Michele Hill Humanitarian Award this year for an Okanagan College student enrolled in an Arts or Science program who plans to continue his or her studies and pursue a career in the Humanities field. Preference will be given to a single parent or someone with a permanent disability.

"One of the reasons I established the award was to thank everyone, the professors, the women in disability services, the friends I made, for giving me the support I needed. It was a tangible way to do that and help a student at the same time," says Hill who is now developing a proposal for a Master’s program at UBCO.

Maria Hampson is one of those on the receiving end. The fourth-year Business Administration student is receiving two awards at the ceremonies in Kelowna Thursday – the Sun-Rype Products Scholarship and the Cloverdale Paint Bursary.

"I’ve worked two to three jobs my entire university career. Receiving scholarships means I am able to get more out of my education and excel to my utmost potential," says Hampson. "Not just in terms of marks, but it allows me the time to focus more on the everyday studies so that I get more personally out of what I’m reading and working on."

"I’m sure all recipients are thankful for this kind of support," says Hampson. "It really is the best investment in the future of our community a person can make."

Hampson is one of 206 recipients to receive awards at November ceremonies at the Penticton, Vernon and Kelowna Campuses. More than $175,000 in scholarships and bursaries from a variety of donors was awarded this year.

"These annual ceremonies give our generous donors the opportunity to meet the young people whose lives are being changed so dramatically through their support, and the recipients an opportunity to thank the donors in person," says Kathy Butler, Director of Advancement.

"We believe the future of our region is tied to the success of the next generation of learners. These are the people who will be our skilled workforce. With their bright minds and investment in education, they will become the doctors, teachers, technologists, engineers, mechanics, builders, and business leaders who will play a crucial role in ensuring our communities have the essentials to support growth and potential for prosperity that exists in every corner of the region."

The Kelowna event takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Cafeteria, 1000 KLO Road. For more information on becoming a donor, contact Kathy Butler, Office of Advancement, 250-862-5630.

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Foundation Logo ColourJune 2005:  The Okanagan University College Foundation is becoming the Okanagan College Foundation.

A change to the name and the organization’sconstitution has been approved by the Board of Directors, and it will become effective July 1.

The constitutional change will allow the organization to serve the new Okanagan College as well as other post-secondary institutions, including UBC Okanagan.

"I’m pleased with the opportunity this presents," says Foundation President Steve Tuck. "While this signals our support for the College, which doesn’t have the fundraising track record or infrastructure of UBC, it gives us the ability to support all post-secondary in the region."

The change in constitution means that the Foundation will be able to administer funds in the names of both institutions – Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan - and provide scholarships and bursaries to students attending the two schools.

"What has made this possible is the co-operative approach and spirit that existed between ourselves, the administration and governing arms of the two institutions," notes Tuck. "We already have examples of funds that have been established which speak to the co-existence of the two schools." He points to the scholarship established by former OUC President Dr. Katy Bindon, which will benefit students who transfer from a college program to complete a degree at the university, as well as another scholarship established by Tuck and his wife Terry, which also focuses on students moving from one institution to the other.

During the process that has seen OUC move toward becoming the new Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan, the Foundation has been diligent about connecting with existing donors to see where they want their funds directed, he notes.

"We’re seeing a new era of post-secondary education unfolding for this region and we see an opportunity for the Foundation – albeit with a new name – to play an even more significant role than it already has."

"From March 18, 2004 (the day after Premier Gordon Campbell announced the future for post-secondary in the Okanagan), the tone has been supportive and clear," says Tuck. "Everyone at OUC, Okanagan College, and UBC have been forthright in their commitment to ensuring that the Foundation retains its strength and has a chance to flourish in the task it has set itself."

The Okanagan College Foundation has an endowment of $6.3 million. Over the past three years it has distributed almost $2.4 million to support students and programs at OUC.

In the 2004-2005 fiscal year, the Foundation awarded 1,754 scholarships and bursaries to students.

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