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Keep students smiling: give generously to the Campus Campaign Community Bursary Fund.

Scholarships, bursaries need a boost

May 14, 2009

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SFU’s 2009 campus campaign to raise funds for student scholarships and bursaries is in full swing until June 30 and the need is great, say campaign co-chairs, professors Tony Williams and Betty Schellenberg.

"Gifts of any size are needed and appreciated," says Williams, a professor of biology. "Together, we can make a collective difference in a year when the need is greater than ever."

He’s referring to the global economic crisis, which has caused SFU to reduce the payout on its endowments from five percent to four percent. Until the endowments increase through donations, less money is available to students through scholarships, bursaries and awards. What’s more, demand for financial aid is likely to increase dramatically in the next few years, since more people attend university in difficult economic times and tough job markets.

Judith Osborne, V-P legal affairs and a professor of criminology, has taken this message to heart and is doing what she can to encourage people to give. She will match all gifts (up to $1000) made to the Brodie Osborne-Campbell Memorial Endowment Fund in Criminology, which she has established in memory of her late son.

"I believe that it is possible in small ways to encourage people to support the university," says Osborne. "You don’t have to be a millionaire to make a difference. Many small contributions add up."

Osborne’s decision to establish a matching fund is based on her observation that offers to match funds have increased giving in past years.

"The university is not in the financial position to provide matching funds this year, but faculty and employees can do it on their own," says Wanda Dekleva, director of annual giving. "In some ways, it can be more inspiring when it’s your peer who steps up and says that giving is important."

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