Donors anchor SFU Surrey to the Fraser Valley

September 08, 2006, volume 37, no. 1

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SFU Surrey opens its doors with a number of community-based programs already in place, thanks to generous donations from some of the Fraser Valley's leading businesses and organizations.

Says Virginia Hasselfield, SFU's Director of Leadership Giving and key fundraiser for SFU Surrey, "Our fundraising campaign went beyond just garnering support for our award-winning building in Central City. It allowed us to build partnerships and create new programs that are aligned with needs of the community."

A $100,000 donation from the Surrey Firefighters Charitable Society (SFCS) is an example. The money will not only support the computer lab on the mezzanine level at SFU Surrey, it will also support an annual lectureship in mental health and addiction research through which an internationally recognized expert will share research findings at SFU and speak at community forums throughout the Fraser Valley.

As first responders to most of Surrey's fire and medical emergencies, firefighters witness the consequences of addiction and mental health issues daily. "Partnering with SFU will help in two ways," says Surrey Firefighters Association President, Larry Thomas. "First, the community lectures will build awareness of mental health issues, helping to remove the stigma and get more people focused on solutions and treatment. Second, SFU Surrey will provide access to education close to home. This means that more kids will gain the confidence and direction that comes with advanced education."

Other gifts to SFU Surrey include:

• $500,000 from the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board Endowment Fund supports the library and an initiative in urban sustainability and development, which will include research and educational activities that address urban sustainability and development concerns.

• $300,000 from Westminster Savings Credit Union supports the campus' 200 seat lecture theatre.

• $150,000 from The Now Newspaper supports a 100-seat theatre and will help SFU advertise programs and opportunities to the Surrey community.

• $100,000 from Dr. Yosef Wosk, director of interdisciplinary programs at SFU's department of continuing studies, supports the learning commons, a facility where students will find all of the networking, studying and counseling services and resources they need to achieve success in their academic and professional careers.

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