November 14, 2018 - 9:45am
Thomas Flegel was pleasantly surprised to return to Vancouver Island University (VIU) this fall to complete his second year of the Automotive apprenticeship program in a renovated and expanded building.
“Everything in the Automotive building is designed to best reflect industry standards,” he says. “It’s more like a real dealership now, which means as students we are getting the best, most relevant training to prepare us for our careers in this industry.”
With the recent opening of the Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex project, which includes the Automotive expansion and redevelopment; and the Centre for Health and Science on VIU’s Nanaimo campus, students and employees are now enjoying improved training spaces. While the building exteriors are now finished, VIU is still seeking support to complete and equip the spaces with the tools students need.
During VIU’s fifth annual Giving Tuesday campaign on November 27, all friends of the University are invited to consider donating to the Foundation. VIU aims to raise $250,000 to support students.
“With rapid advances in the technology used by many industries, and a growing number of students studying in the new spaces, we are working hard to ensure they will be learning on leading-edge equipment in the new labs and training facilities,” says Dave Forrester, VIU Advancement Manager. “The excitement for our Giving Tuesday grows each year as it is a wonderful opportunity to make a contribution of any size that makes a direct impact on our students.”
Donations can be directed to support a scholarship, award or bursary, a particular faculty or program or any area that donors are passionate about. People can also direct their gift to the Inspiration Fund, which assists the areas of greatest need at the University.
Elijah Vesprey, a second-year Recreation and Tourism student, says his VIU scholarship meant that he didn’t have to work during his first year, which helped him with the transition from high school to university.
“I was able to focus on my grades and also joining different clubs and groups on campus to get to know the community here better,” he says. “I completely immersed myself in VIU, getting to know people, making friends and helping out at events, which all contributed to a really positive experience for my first year. Being able to participate so much in the community has led to other opportunities – for example, I am leading VIU’s Student Ambassador program this year.”
Many student groups, departments, faculties and community groups are organizing special fundraising initiatives around Giving Tuesday. For example, VIU Mariners men’s basketball coach Matt Kuzminski is working with community partners to ensure his team gets every advantage they can on the court.
“Community support has been a huge part of our student-athlete and overall program success,” he says. “The support of our community donors and sponsors helps our student-athletes focus on balancing the demands of their full-time studies with athletics. Their support allows us to profile our basketball program and the student-athletes we have at tournaments and events across Canada and in the United states.”
Donations made on Giving Tuesday can have double the impact, as there are limited matching funds available to the campaign this year from the VIU Foundation, and 100% of every donation will go directly to the fund chosen by the donor.
For more information, please visit Giving Tuesday or call Dave at 250-740-6214.
Jenn McGarrigle, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University