UBC Okanagan is embarking on the largest fundraising campaign for students in its 12-year history. The Blue & Gold Campaign for Students aims to raise $100 million across both UBC campuses over three years to give promising students access to a life-changing education.
“Donors in the Okanagan have already played a crucial role in building our campus and shaping what it is today,” says Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice-chancellor and Principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus. “We are equally committed to building greater supports for students to ensure the best and the brightest from near and far have access to a world-class education right here in the Okanagan, regardless of financial circumstances.”
The Blue & Gold Campaign for Students will support a range of student awards, including scholarships, bursaries, and experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. The awards will support students in need, students from under-represented communities, and leadership-based awards.
Tushar Dave, a recipient of the Deepak Binning Foundation Community Builder Scholarship and now a third-year undergraduate in medical biochemistry and molecular biology at UBC Okanagan, is one student who is benefitting from a UBC donor-funded award.
“The biggest factor for me was getting a UBC education here at home. I live in Kelowna and it is wonderful for me to have a UBC world-class education at my doorstep” said Dave. “Scholarships allow me to focus on what matters most: my studies. It’s important to continue supporting students so that we can give back to our communities. So that we can go to work and actually make a change in the world.”
Haley Seven Deers, a third-year history and anthropology student at UBC Okanagan, is another.
“These awards are truly life-changing for students,” said Seven Deers, who received a UBC Okanagan Aboriginal Entrance Award. “Every bit, no matter how small or large that you donate is going to have a huge impact on people’s lives. And not just on the students, but on all the people they will affect later in their careers. It’s such a beautiful thing that has such a far-reaching impact within society.”
UBC is providing matching funds of up to $5 million for new endowed donations to select Blue & Gold campaign priorities, which include bursaries and renewable entrance awards for students with high academic standing, known as Presidential Scholars, as well as for outstanding students recognized for their achievement and leadership who demonstrate financial need.
The campaign will also focus on the graduate student experience including opportunities to pursue research in collaboration with community partners and organizations to provide real-life applications for public benefit.
“The student awards that I have received have really helped me to focus my time and energy on engaging with communities in a meaningful way and also to focus on field work,” said Kelsey Copes-Gerbitz, a graduate student who studies wildfires at UBC in Vancouver. “My dream for the future is to help enable communities to co-exist with wildfire. Fire isn’t going away, but our people and our landscapes can be more resilient to fire and learn how to co-exist with it better.”
For information about the Blue & Gold Campaign for Students, visit: support.ubc.ca/blueandgold