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TRU introduces First-Year Student Resiliency Fund – TRU Newsroom

Dean donates $10K to help during difficult times

KAMLOOPS— Thompson Rivers University (TRU) is creating new bursaries and awards for first-year students embarking on their post-secondary studies amid unforeseen financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The university aims to raise $50,000 to provide up to 100 first-year students with additional tuition support through the First-Year Student Resiliency Fund. The TRU Foundation will match up to $25,000 donated to the fund and the Dean of the Faculty of Education and Social Work, Airini, is donating $10,000. The resiliency awards will give students another source for pandemic-related financial relief. Anyone can contribute by visiting and making a donation by Aug. 31 so awards are available for the fall term.

“One thing I’ve learned from living in Kamloops is that we give however we can and together, our help adds up to something big,” said Dean Airini. “COVID-19 has affected so many in our communities. TRU offers one way forward, preparing students to be active community members and genuine leaders. If there was ever a time to recognize the potential and resilience of our future students, it is now. We don’t want their pace to slow.”

Education and living-away-from-home costs for the average undergraduate student total $20,000 per year. There is limited financial support for new students and general bursaries are usually restricted to returning students.

“Many students rely on summer savings and part-time work during the school year and both of those opportunities are significantly diminished,” said Gordon Down, director of Student Awards & Financial Aid. “Awards supported by donors are a tangible indication for students that someone cares about their educational journey and is using their own money to invest in them.”

Students who are in dire financial need or unable to accumulate debt, non-traditional learners and those who are the first in their family to attend post-secondary school are especially vulnerable during this economic crisis and risk postponing their education.

“TRU is committed to addressing these challenges in every way possible,” said Vice-President of University Relations Brian Daly. “The positive impact TRU graduates have in their communities will not be delayed because they cannot afford to start university now.”

TRU recognizes its students’ challenges are closely related to the economic issues faced by Interior cities and rural communities, Daly noted. The impact to communities will be prolonged if students cannot pursue post-secondary education as planned.

The university—through its operations, students, and alumni—provides a significant boost to the regional economy, estimated at $705.3 million annually. Put another way, one in nine jobs in the region are supported by TRU, its students and graduates.

To contribute to the First-Year Student Resiliency Fund, visit To learn more about contributing support, contact Diana Major at or 250-320-0954.


Brian Daly
Vice-President, University Relations | 250-377-6033

Gordon Down
Director, Student Awards & Financial Aid | 250-828-5026

Dean, Faculty of Education and Social Work | 250-320-5552

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