BY DENNIS BROOKS, P.ENG., P.GEOPH.
Education Foundation Columnist
On page three of this month’s PEGG is the announcement
of major increases in APEGGA Education Foundation scholarships.
This follows the Feb. 10 foundation board meeting, at which
motions were passed approving in principle increases of 50
per cent in the awards for our entrance and transfer scholarships
As well, undergraduate scholarships at the University of Calgary
will be increased to equal in value those at the University
of Alberta. The board also approved the creation of two new
annual scholarships, called the APEGGA Alberta Centennial Scholarships,
starting in 2005 in the amount of $5,000 each.
Implementation will require that sub-committees change or create
terms of reference for subsequent board approval. Then administration
will have to revise application forms, and notify students
and award bodies of the changes.
On the face of it these changes appear instantaneous. The reality
is that much study and work came before.
First, we have had a campaign running for three to four years
to encourage more donations and make increases possible. Voluntary
donations have grown from about $25,000 in year 2000 to over
$50,000 in the past two years.
The number of donors continues to increase each year with 1,080
contributors in 2003. The average donation has also increased
to nearly $50.
Over the past year, sub-committees have been hard at work
to determine how best to apply new funds to scholarships. They
met with university deans and department heads, who urged them
not to create whole new programs but to build on existing ones.
Especially favoured are programs that encourage students in
grade school and high school to pursue careers in engineering
The foundation recognizes, of course, that increased awards
have to be sustainable. So there was considerable discussion
at the last meeting about whether our revenue flow, backed
by our investments, could support the proposed increases. Based
on growth trends and the fact that many of our donors back
us year after year, the board concluded that the answer is
There was some discussion about whether the foundation should
finance increases through endowments or through cash flows.
This was considered a big enough topic to warrant a future
It was noted, however, that should any governments decide to
offer matching grants for monies put into endowments (as they
did for Alberta’s 75th anniversary), your foundation
is in a financial position to take advantage of the situation.
So, great work, donors.You have helped make dreams come true!