TRU Williams Lake Endowed Fund for Student Support

Ensuring the future of learning in the Cariboo

With a goal of $1 million, the Williams Lake Endowed Fund will support scholarships, bursaries and other student initiatives for decades to come.

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A measure of success for any post-secondary institution is its ability to contribute to the local economy and to build the capacity of its community so it can grow and thrive. TRU Grit, a group of community members in Williams Lake, has been dedicated to supporting post-secondary education in the Cariboo for more than 10 years. These hard-working volunteers produce a number of initiatives, including an annual fundraising gala, with all proceeds going to scholarships and awards for students at the Williams Lake campus.

By establishing a dedicated endowment for these funds, TRU can ensure long-term funding for student awards as TRU Williams Lake looks to the future. An endowment fund ensures sustainability, meaning TRU can distribute the same or a greater number of scholarships each year. Earnings from the TRU Williams Lake Endowed Fund for Student Support will directly benefit students in the Cariboo well into the future.

Mark and Sally Nairn kick-started the endowment in fall 2023 by pledging $100,000

“It's not only good for the students, it's good for our community as well,” says Mark. “The university is an economic driver here and I think anybody who's lived here and done well really should contribute.”

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Mark and Sally Nairn

How does it work?

Donations to the TRU Williams Lake Endowed Fund for Student Support will directly benefit local TRU Williams Lake students through scholarships, bursaries and financial awards. All contributions to the Williams Lake Endowed Fund will be invested; interest earned produces revenue to fund student awards for students at the Williams Lake campus annually and in perpetuity. Donations can be made immediately, or through a multi-year pledge over up to five years.

Jeannine Leduc

Jeannine Leduc

Why give?

Jeannine's story

TRU Williams Lake student Jeannine Leduc is used to facing challenges. Early struggles in life created barriers, but they also inspired in her a fierce determination to help others. Jeannine began the Education Assistant and Community Support Certificate program in 2022. After unexpectedly losing her job, finding out she was receiving a bursary was exactly what she needed to continue striving toward her goals.

“I want to really express how truly grateful I am to have received this award,” Jeannine says. “I am beyond thankful! I have great plans to do good things in the future, and the award is helping me do them.” She plans to pursue her Human Service Diploma and is considering working toward her Bachelor of Social Work after that. This may not have happened without the help of donors.

Kelly Davison and family

Kelly Davison and family

Why give?

Kelly's story

Kelly Davison moved to the Cariboo in 2020 to pursue a dream in agriculture and create a more sustainable future for her family. Davison grew up in foster care, facing hardship, adversity and discrimination before feeling capable of enrolling in post-secondary as an adult. While enrolled in the applied sustainable ranching program, her sister unexpectedly passed. Davison received the TRU Grit Entrance Award, Chan Wai Chiu Memorial Bursary and Howard Beharrell Memorial Bursary.

“It was so meaningful to me that these people who had also lost someone chose to put these bursaries forward to help move someone else’s future forward,” she says. “It also made me feel connected to my sister. After her death, I wanted to put as much positivity into the world as I could and embrace the parts of her that I found moving and that I really missed. Being chosen made me feel like someone was helping me do that.”

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