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More than $250,000 announced in student support at President’s Gala

October 21, 2015
Megan Catalano

An evening filled with food, music and celebratory excitement at Hatley Park resulted in tremendous support toward student success.

Royal Roads University announced more than $250,000 for student bursaries during its President’s Gala on Oct. 17. Through a variety of activities including silent and live auctions and personal donations, the funds raised will support two newly established bursaries.

Bursaries help support students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to receive a post-secondary education. Bachelor of Commerce (2002) alumna Tanya Pattullo, a widowed, single-mother of two, had a life-changing experience after receiving a bursary from Royal Roads and shared her inspiring story at the gala.

After finding a bursary at Royal Roads Tanya thought, “Okay, I think I can do this, so I’m going to try -  and that’s when everything changed.”

Following her education at Royal Roads, Pattullo fell in love with teaching and dreamed of giving the gift of accessible education to others. She went on to open WaterWorks Technology School, in Sooke, and hopes that her story will inspire others to give the gift of education.

The 75 Years of Changing Lives bursary will be used to encourage and support passionate, outstanding students with financial barriers to fulfill their dream of education.

 “It’s through education that we do make a difference in people’s lives and not just through that one person, but through every life they touch – their families, their children. It’s a gift that just gives and gives and gives.”

Royal Roads’ Chancellor and Board of Governors Chair Wayne Strandlund also believes strongly in education and made a generous pledge of $100,000 during the evening to create a bursary that will primarily assist Indigenous students to receive a post-secondary education at Royal Roads.

“I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact that education can make in a person’s life,” says Strandlund. “I feel fortunate that I’ve reached a point in my career where I’m able to offer support to those who may not have had the opportunity to experience the difference that an education can make.”

Since its inception as a military college in 1940, to the creation of a public applied research university in 1995, Royal Roads has invested in changing lives with a priority of inspiring student success. Building on the momentum of other 75th celebration events held this year, including the Global Alumni Weekend held in September, the President’s Gala reaffirmed the community’s support for the institution’s investment in students.

“This success of the evening wouldn’t have been possible without the leadership of the gala committee led by Bob Saunders and Terry Farmer and without the participation of seasoned auctioneer Eric Charman,” says President and Vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon.

Cahoon adds, “We must earn the privilege of philanthropic support by ensuring our education and research produces added value through empowering knowledge. Supporting and investing in our university’s bursaries can help create life-changing experiences for our students like Tanya.”

Visit the Royal Roads advancement website for more information on how to support student bursaries.