Why I Give
"If you have enough money to donate, it will benefit the country in the long run. People graduating from Memorial are the people who are helping the country succeed. Education is one of the best things you can invest in."
Wilfred Davis graduated in 1956 with a diploma in Engineering from Memorial University. At the time, it was a three-year program, so Mr. Davis worked for three years in Labrador to put himself through the program. Mr. Davis is not from Newfoundland but moved here with his mother when he was very young. He says he got a good grounding for his career at Memorial. However, after graduating, he left Canada and worked in the U.S. until his return to the island in 1986. He says he was horrified at the price of books. "I saw how expensive everything was and it prompted me to want to help some Newfoundland students. There are a lot of hidden expenses, especially for students who come from rural Newfoundland to live in St. John’s." After attending a 50 year reunion, he and his wife Rose decided to give back to Memorial with the Wilfred and Rose Davis Scholarship in Engineering.
Each semester they receive a card from the scholarship recipient and they say they really are very grateful for those cards, knowing their donation is helping students get the best education they can.
The Wilfred and Rose Davis Scholarship in Engineering is awarded annually to a student entering or engaged in the engineering program. It is valued at the interest earned annually from the endowment and is based on scholarship standing and financial need. It is awarded by the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Scholarships and Financial Aid upon recommendation from the dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
"Newfoundland should take a lot of pride in Memorial. It is the only university in the province and its graduates are recognized outside the province as industrious and innovative. The community needs to support Memorial in order for it to succeed."
Jason Humber gives to support the engineering program at Memorial because he wants to see it continue to develop and grow, just like the industries our graduates occupy when they leave here. Mr. Humber, who graduated from Memorial’s Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering program in 1999, now lives in Calgary, Alberta and is the principal consultant of Integrated Informatics Inc.
Mr. Humber says he met with Dr. Ray Gosine, dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, in Calgary and was quite impressed with how the funds are being used and how they are benefiting the faculty. He would encourage anyone to donate. "When I hear about the scope and growth of the faculty, it gives me more motivation to give. It’s good to contribute and be a part of that growth."
"The $10,000 we donate each year to engineering students is a reflection of our company’s commitment to the local community, and a way of providing recognition and encouragement to those students who excel in the various programs from which we typically recruit new people."
—Barry North, Schlumberger Canada Limited
Every year, Schlumberger Canada Limited donates $10,000 to scholarship funds at Memorial University. Barry North, who is the personnel manager for Atlantic and Eastern Canada, says this year marks the tenth anniversary of the company’s scholarship program at Memorial. He says Schlumberger considers Memorial University to be a quality supplier of their most important resource - people. “Our mandate is to continue attracting the very best graduates and to ensure that they develop to successfully meet the challenges that not only face the oil and gas industry, but all sectors of our provincial, national and global economies.” But, he adds, their responsibility does not end with scholarships. He believes they must also provide learning opportunities for students through work terms, guest lecturers, donation of learning materials, etc. He says organizations today must identify new and creative means to pursue learning opportunities for post secondary students.
Mr. North says given the ever-increasing demand for talented people to enter the workforce, and the increasing education costs facing students, it is now more critical than ever that corporations provide financial incentives and support to post secondary students.
Photo: Dr. Ray Gosine receives scholarship donation from Schlumberger’s Glenn Samson and Barry North.
"If a chair can help us reach our goals, provide a better performance record and prosper, that benefits the whole province."
The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has partnered with Baader-Canpolar, an acknowledged leader in the development of automated machine vision and inspection technology for the food processing industry. The partnership will result in a new Research Chair in Machine Vision with research areas that include robotic vision, image processing and analysis, pattern recognition and classification, and high-speed and multi-spectral imaging. Paul Hearn (B.Eng. ’86) is the managing director of Baadar-Canpolar. He feels it’s very important for the university, and particularly the Faculty of Engineering, to be a leader in food inspection and machine vision research, especially given the importance of the fishing industry in Newfoundland. So, they’ve partnered with Memorial to build expertise in food inspection and the unique challenges in this industry. "The inspection of food, particularly fish and poultry, is a very complex process. The province needs someone at the academic level to look at these challenges and the industry needs new approaches and new technology to solve some of the tough problems we face," remarks Mr. Hearn.
Mr. Hearn says he’s hoping this chair will grow the number of students interested in the industry that he can eventually hire or who might start their own business. He’s also hoping the chair will address issues that will give his company better results. Mr. Hearn says given how much this industry is growing, he would like to see a centre of excellence in food inspection. What’s his advice for other industry leaders? "You need to a good plan on what you want to achieve related to your industry. If you have a good plan, a research chair will provide the avenue to solve problems."
"I have a close relationship with the Faculty of Engineering and with the faculty and students there. I know what the needs of the school of the faculty are. It's a very positive experience to donate because of the excellent students and programs. Memorial is producing very strong graduates and I like being a part of that."
Steve McLean, executive director of the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador, enjoyed his time at Memorial and wants to see the program continue to grow. "I think the community has a responsibility to Memorial. For businesses, parents and the community, it is important they have a strong university to provide education to youth and for youth; supporting the economy and society. If there were no university here, students would have to leave the province to study." Mr. McLean says he would encourage anyone to donate and even older graduates who received their degree from DALTECH. "They received their diploma from Memorial first and that’s where they got their start, their grounding for their engineering career."
"Memorial contributes to the quality of life of the whole community."
—Graham Wakeham, B.Eng. '76
Graham Wakeham feels good supporting Memorial University. He believes that a key part of his success in his professional life is the education and experience he gained there. "I donate because it is a way to give back to the university, to show appreciation." Mr. Wakeham notes that the tuition paid by students does not touch the true cost of delivery of a university education.
Mr. Wakeham, who is a consultant in the oil and gas sector, also believes that the larger community, particularly the business community, has a responsibility to Memorial. "Memorial contributes to the quality of life of the whole community, from supporting the arts to cutting edge research. A vibrant community enhances our desirability as a place to do business. With support from the business community, Memorial can continue to make this happen."
He also encourages alumni and other individual donors to generously support the institution to enable it to educate students to the highest standards. Mr. Wakeham, a graduate of both the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the Faculty of Business Administration, supports both faculties.