Sandra Richardson, CEO, Victoria Foundation
Education is a gift that you give that nobody can take away.
The value of education is universal. That fact is evident in the variety of bursaries available to Royal Roads University students through the Victoria Foundation.
Donations from four individuals established three important bursaries that enable people from different program areas and backgrounds to continue their education, all with one core value.
“Education is a gift that you give that nobody can take away,” says Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation CEO. “(The donors) were futurists in a lot of ways, looking down to the next generation to say, ‘This is important.’”
Through the bequest of an anonymous donor, the Victoria Foundation worked with Royal Roads University to establish the Victoria Foundation Chinese-Canadian Community Bursary. The annual award supports the advancement of Canadian citizens of Chinese origins who demonstrate financial need.
The Victoria Foundation Ruth Elina Carlson Bursary is funded through the bequest of donor Ruth Carlson. The bursary, to be awarded up to three times annually, is for Canadian born students with strong academic standing and demonstrated financial need.
“She had just an incredible love for learning, and for art and history,” Richardson says. “She was always concerned about women that wanted to educate themselves and couldn’t always afford to do that.”
The Rachel and Ernest Fox Loan Program was established to pay tribute to the memory of Victoria, B.C. residents Rachel and Ernest Fox. It was Rachel Fox’s wish to provide interest-free loans to university students based on academic success and financial need.
“The idea was for a loan where one student can take advantage of that, get their education and then pay it back to allow another student to do the same. It’s a perpetual program,” says Sara Neely, director of philanthropic services.
Due to the online nature of Royal Roads University’s programs and the fact that many students continue to work while completing their studies, they are not eligible for a Canada Student Loan. The Rachel and Ernest Fox Loan Program is a great alternative for funding.
“Her husband’s degree was in mathematics and she was more into the arts,” Richardson says. “Their wish was to really help students in both of those areas. They also had an appreciation that it’s a tough time for students. Many of the students in those programs are returning to university at a time when they have jobs and families, so this becomes a wonderful student loan.”
Collectively, the bursaries are about empowering people to take control of their education in situations where finances could have otherwise prevented them.
“Ruth and Ernie believed that people must take it upon themselves to pursue every opportunity; to experience life to the fullest; challenge their mind and realize their dreams,” says Kim Rudd, the Fox’s niece. “This endowment is their gift to help make that a reality.”