Editor’s Note: The following article rounds up APEGGA Education Foundation activity for the year 2008. It was a year of profound change to the foundation, which its president explains.
BY ASHOK SEHGAL P.ENG.
APEGGA Education Foundation
Our heartfelt thanks go to the many APEGGA members who understand and support the objectives of the foundation. We know that there are other alternatives for allocating your discretionary charitable donations. And many of them are larger, more visible organizations that we see regularly on our TV screens.
We know that your support makes a difference to the professions and the students who benefit from your generosity. Over the next few years we hope you will keep up this support and consider increasing it even further as we embark on a significant fundraising journey. Your financial support will increase dramatically the foundation’s ability to support these worthy students and the education system that is behind them.
The year 2008 was a watershed one for the foundation, because
APEGGA approved a major reorganization of the scholarship portfolio that it passed on to the foundation at its inception in 1996
APEGGA passed full authority to the foundation to manage that portfolio to the benefit of members and students
APEGGA passed full authority to the foundation to manage the endowments that were made to the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta in 1988.
The year also marked a milestone in the foundation’s journey, because
more than $1 million has been given to students in the form of medals and scholarships since its inception
a total of $1 million was endowed to the U of A and the U of C.
The year also saw the development of a five-year plan to see
member contributions quadruple
corporate donations reach $100,000
another $1 million endowed to the U of A and the U of C
support for scholarships, bursaries and outreach double or even triple.
Trust agreements were signed with the U of C and the U of A to manage and disburse investment income from two $500,000 endowments. These are in support of students who have high academic standing or who are in financial need, and in support of outreach to the wider community to encourage students to enter engineering and geoscience.
These agreements were precipitated by matching funds from the Government of Alberta’s Access to the Future Fund. Unfortunately, demand for the matching funds and the downturn in the economy has meant that the matching funds may not be forthcoming for five years.
Endowments made by APEGGA in 1988 that have grown to more than $100,000 each will be blended in with these new endowments.
The investment income generated from these endowments is not sufficient to cover commitments, so the foundation will top them up annually with revenue generated from members.
Scholarship & Bursary Portfolio
Our portfolio was reorganized to make our financial support more effective, visible and understandable; to better meet the needs of students; and to simplify administration.
Entrance (entering first year), transfer (transferring from college to second-year engineering), Centennial (undergrad) and education (teaching) scholarships were eliminated. Undergrad and grad scholarships were increased in number and value. The focus changed from rewarding those of high academic standing to those in financial need.
The selection of winners was turned over to the universities except for the Millennium Scholarships, which are awarded to the children of APEGGA members enrolled in any post-secondary program anywhere in Canada. Gold medals are still awarded to the students with highest academic standing in fourth year.
At the recommendation of the deans of the two universities, the foundation has extended its reach to include support for the faculties’ outreach programs. Our professions are still largely invisible to the public and continued promotion is needed to ensure we have the brightest and best entering geoscience and engineering.
The endowment of $1 million left the foundation with only $200,000 in its account. There was an obvious need to build up the assets. The plan sees the current level of donations of $200,000 rising to $500,000 within five years.
The money generated above the current $200,000 annually will be used to augment the current endowments. Over five years this amounts to $1 million. The baseline donations of $200,000 will be used to double our short-term funding levels.
History of Bridges
Begun in 2007, the History of Bridges project saw $60,000 raised by our historian and much research completed. The foundation represents the tax deductible vehicle that members can use to support this important record of bridge building in Alberta.
The goal is to have the manuscript complete by September 2009 for a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the completion of the Lethbridge High Level Bridge.