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Catherine Louie

Library staffer Catherine Louie is ready to run the Boston Marathon thanks to her winning voucher.

SFU philanthropist wins ticket to run

September 17, 2008

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When SFU library assistant Catherine Louie made her annual donation to the 2008 Campus Giving Campaign, her goal was to help improve the library experience for students. She didn’t know then that it would lead her toward achieving a personal goal.

Catherine won the campaign’s draw for two tickets to the Big Apple courtesy of award-winning airline, Cathay Pacific Airways. She’ll use them to visit New York in the spring and make a side trip to Beantown to run her second Boston Marathon.

In 2006, Catherine ran Boston in 4 hours and 10 minutes. Her goal this time around is to finish with a better time. "The course is pretty tough," she says. "At mile 17 it goes up a hill quite a bit and then you hit Heartbreak Hill at mile 20."

Catherine graduated from SFU in 1998 with a BSc in Kinesiology, and although she works full-time in the WAC Bennett Library, she has maintained an active interest in sports. She worked in rehab for a couple of years, continues to do some personal training and has run 34 marathons over the past 17 years with a personal best time of 3:45 hours to complete 42.2 km.

She started donating to the SFU Campus Giving Campaign a few years ago because she felt it was the appropriate thing to do as both an SFU alumna and employee. The satisfaction of seeing how the funds benefit students inspires her to continue giving.

"The first year, our project was to create a comfortable student lounge on the main floor," she explains. "We had a lounge that was highly used, but highly worn and uninspiring. We wanted to create a warmer, more welcoming and relaxing space – a space wired for technology, furnished for comfort and decorated for inspiration. When the project was completed, it was the most popular place in the library. It’s always busy."

Working at SFU Library, Catherine sees the impact of these projects coming to fruition. "I know my contribution is being well-used."

This year’s campaign raised almost $150,000 for scholarships, bursaries and student-space improvements.
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