CIBC invests in college bursaries

An investment of $60,000 for bursaries will help keep students in the forefront of technology at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College.

CIBC representatives Kendall Gross (left)

CIBC representatives Kendall Gross (left)

An investment of $60,000 for bursaries will help keep students in the forefront of technology at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College.

CIBC announced last week they will provide the funds for six student bursaries at the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation over a span of five years.

“You are investing in the fastest growing college in the province of British Columbia,” said Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton. “You are investing in the Centre of Excellence that is going to allow 500 more students to study on campus in Penticton. The focus of this is very timely because it allows Okanagan College to assume a leadership position internationally.

“This building has now gained international attention because what we are doing in this building is launching a bunch of new programs that focus on sustainable building technologies. This means our students will be at the forefront of that emerging wave in the construction industry. What you are really investing in with this fund — students who are going to be at the forefront of that wave.”

The Centre of Excellence will provide trades and technology training and professional development focused on sustainable building technologies and processes. Construction of the building is set to be complete this March. The new bursaries will provide educational and training opportunities for the people of the South Okanagan and beyond. The six bursaries, each valued at $2,000, will be dispersed over the next five years.

“With this gift, over the next five years, we will be giving out a minimum of $55,000 back to this community and I think that is fantastic,” said Jim Henderson, president of the Okanagan College Foundation. “This past four years the foundation has given back to the students at Okanagan College, from all the campuses, in excess of $1 million and that is a phenomenal number. That only comes from the support of organizations like (CIBC).”

The entrance awards will be administered to students demonstrating financial need and preference will be given to residents of the Okanagan, Similkameen and Kootenay regions. Students in several programs will qualify for the new bursary.

John Egyed, associate vice-president of CIBC South Okanagan—Kootenays, said CIBC has multi-year commitments of $19 million to Canadian universities and colleges.

“We feel very strongly in investing in access to education and we believe it has a positive social and economic impact in the building of healthy communities,” said Egyed.