Graduate students pursuing environment-related studies will be eligible for new funding
A generous donation from TD Bank Financial Group announced today will enable Memorial University to advance its teaching and research strengths in multiple environment-related disciplines. The $400,000 donation, which is the largest single philanthropic contribution TD has ever made to the university, will be made available through graduate student bursaries.
The donation was presented this morning on Memorial’s St. John’s campus. Dr. Christopher W. Loomis, Memorial’s president and vice-chancellor, pro tempore, Chancellor General Rick J. Hillier (Ret’d), and Bruce Shirreff, senior vice president TD Canada Trust, were joined by special guests, TD representatives, senior university administration, faculty and students.
”The environment and Canada are forever linked, and we recognize the growing need to provide students with access to funding so we can advance our country’s expertise in this important field,” said TD’s Bruce Shirreff.
“Strengthening Memorial University’s ability to provide higher education opportunities for students will have a lasting impact on our environment for years to come.”
TD’s support enables Memorial to address an urgent need to build its number and level of graduate awards. In 2008-09, only 79 graduate students – three per cent of the graduate student population – received donated financial support.
“A key pillar of Memorial’s Strategic Plan is to grow our capacity, impact and reputation in research. Increasing the number of graduate students, especially those in PhD programs, is critical to achieving that goal,” said Dr. Loomis. “Through this generous gift, Memorial will be able to offer more competitive financial packages to attract the best students wishing to pursue advanced studies and research on the environment. That is important not only to the future of Memorial, but to the sustainability of the planet we all share.”
Dr. Noreen Golfman, dean of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), says the donation will go a long way in supporting graduate-level environmental research at Memorial. “Our graduate students benefit from a range of interdisciplinary programs under the tutelage of expert faculty members,” she said. “This funding will not only enable scholars to advance cutting-edge research projects, but will also make it possible for deserving students to focus more on their academic pursuits without the burden of financial obstacles.”
TD’s donation is timely given that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF), a not-for-profit organization that has been supporting grassroots wildlife and environment projects in communities across Canada since 1990. The Newfoundland TD FEF chapter has provided $200,000 to support more than 120 local projects over the past 20 years. Those projects include environmental programs for children, trail restoration and protecting wildlife species that are at risk.
“On behalf of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, I thank TD
for their generous support of Memorial’s graduate students,” said Darin King, Minister of Education. “These bursaries support the provincial government’s innovation strategy which is focused on stimulating innovation in the province and providing the necessary resources for academic and research institutions. These bursaries will help attract the best and the brightest to our province. This is good news for the students and good news for the future of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
About Memorial University
Founded in 1925 as a living memorial to Newfoundland’s war dead, Memorial University College was elevated to degree-granting status in 1949 as Memorial University of Newfoundland. Today, the university is the largest in Atlantic Canada, with about 17,000 students. Memorial provides excellent undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in virtually all disciplines.
Memorial’s School of Graduate Studies (SGS) offers programs that emphasize close student-faculty ties, rigorous research and scholarship and excellence in teaching. Many teaching and research activities reflect our mid-North Atlantic locations; these unique settings and our cultural heritage have led to the creation of highly-regarded academic programs in areas such as oceans, natural resources, culture and heritage, energy and the environment and health and well-being. For more information, visit http://www.mun.ca/become/graduate/.
TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together
Children’s health, literacy and education and the environment are the three main areas of focus for TD’s community giving. Flagship programs within these areas include: TD Children’s Hospital Fund; TD Friends of the Environment Foundation; TD Canadian Children’s Book Week; TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership; and the TD Summer Reading Club. With support from customers and employees, TD is involved with a host of national, regional and local causes benefiting diversity, arts and culture and other community programs. In 2009, TD donated $37 million to more than 2,500 organizations across Canada.