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Significant donation to support undergraduate business students

By Jennifer E. O’Neill

A $500,000 donation from CIBC will assist 350 undergraduate business administration students over the next 10 years though the CIBC Bursary Program in Business Administration. The program, which was announced on Oct. 20 at the grand opening of CIBC Mount Pearl Banking Centre, will benefit students who demonstrate financial need, are active in community or university life and display academic merit.

Memorial’s Chancellor, General Rick Hillier (Ret’d) and Sonia Baxendale, senior executive vice president, CIBC and president, CIBC Retail Markets, celebrated the announcement with Dr. Wilfred Zerbe, dean, Faculty of Business Administration; Bob Simmonds, chair, Memorial’s Board of Regents; CIBC representatives; as well as members of the university community, including students currently enrolled in the business faculty.

“At CIBC, we believe in making a difference where we live and work,” said Ms. Baxendale. “We are pleased to provide funding for these bursaries that will help young people access higher education and build successful careers.”

The CIBC Bursary Program in Business Administration will assist 35 students each year, for the next 10 years, through 15 $2,000 bursaries and 20 $1,000 bursaries. The donation marks CIBC’s largest philanthropic contribution to the university.

“Financial awards make the impossible possible for students at Memorial University,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor. “Thanks to the generous support of CIBC, over the next 10 years 350 deserving business students will be able to focus more on their academic pursuits and community engagement, without the burden of financial obstacles.”

Jessica Deering, fifth-year commerce student, said that bursaries help alleviate the anxieties students feel when working to pay for tuition, textbooks and living expenses - on top of the stresses of pursuing a post-secondary education.

“CIBC’s financial support will allow more students to focus their efforts on their studies and to take advantage of a wide array of initiatives outside of the classroom,” she said.

Chancellor Hillier said that CIBC’s contribution demonstrates the financial institution’s community spirit. ”With a strategic focus on youth and education, CIBC is a leader in supporting causes that matter to communities,” he said. “Memorial shares CIBC’s commitment to community, and applauds CIBC for helping advance our outreach efforts by providing funding that will encourage more business students to contribute to their communities in leadership roles.”

CIBC’s support to Memorial has spanned over 25 years, and has played a significant role in providing students access to enhanced student services and facilities while attaining a university education. CIBC previously donated $250,000 to support the creation of the University Centre (commonly referred to as the UC, but officially named the Smallwood Centre after former Premier Joseph R. Smallwood), which is accessed by thousands of Memorial students every day.