On March 25, Durham College bursary recipients met their donors at Bistro ‘67 over some wine, hors d’oeuvres and a few hours of conversation.
Students and donors were greeted at the door with a nametag and a carnation.
Both parties would find each other by matching the colour of the flowers together, allowing them to meet face-to-face for the first time.
Ron Chatterton, chair of the Durham College board of governors, said the event connects donors and students together, putting names to faces for both the donors and students.
Durham College students have access to thousands of dollars of external bursaries, given to the college through external donations from donors around the community.
For many students, a bursary can make an incredible difference to their success, and “it allows students to concentrate more fully on their studies,” Chatterton said.
The Durham College annual donor and student reception connects not only the students and donors, but also the donors to the community and program they support.
David Chambers, associate vice-president in the Office of Development at Durham College and president of the Durham College Foundation, congratulated the students, and told donors to “recognize the difference you’re making for the recipients tonight.”
Don Lovisa, president of Durham College, talked about a woman who had approached him earlier and told him about graduating this year, and how much the bursary has made a difference in the life of her and her children.
“That’s the story of tonight,” Lovisa said, before welcoming her to the podium.
Mandy Tubrett, a second year practical nursing student, said she was able to focus more on her studies, and less on the bills.
“Only by the grace of OSAP and generous donors,” she said, is why she is graduating this year.
Chambers thanked the donors for their generous support and joked that “the parking gate will open with a $100 donation,” to much laughter from the crowd of donors and students.
Culinary students studying at the Durham College Centre for Food provided an array of food for the donors and the recipients, as well as served wine and coffee.
Chatterton said he thought it was “phenomenal” to have classes running at the same time as an event the college was hosting, something he called “a great showcase” for what Durham College has to offer.
Durham College hosts the donor and student reception every year, although this is the first time it’s been held at Bistro ‘67, which was under construction until September of last year. Students can apply through mycampus.