Sharing memories helps future students

Memories can go a long way and for graduating students, those memories became a way to give back to the school.  Durham College hosted its School Cup Challenge (SCC) this March for its third year.


Students were drawn into the Pit by the smell of popcorn and were encouraged to fill out a survey if they wanted to indulge in the buttery treat.

The survey asked graduating students to fill out a memory they had during their time at Durham College and to include one of their favourite staff members or faculty.

“It’s a friendly competition between the seven academic schools,” said Sally Hillis, Durham College’s annual development and alumni operation administrator.

The SCC winner is the academic school with the most participants.  This year, the Centre For Food (CFF) came in first place for the second year in a row with one-fifth of the entries from the CFF.

The prize for the CFF is a $1,000 bursary for the school to give to a student in the following year, and the ultimate prize of bragging rights on the School Cup trophy.

Tricia Wiseman, a faculty member from the CFF says the close relationship the school has with its students is a part of their success.

“It’s a healthy competition that allows the students to participate in something that they can do together on behalf of their school,” says Wiseman.  “It contributes to their school pride.”

Nevertheless, winning is the big part of the challenge. “We wanted to win the bursary for the students because it helps our students directly,” says Wiseman.

The second place prize went to the School of Science & Engineering Technology.  They were awarded a $500 bursary for the amount of participating students.

Hillis has coordinated the event for the last three years. “It’s a fun way for our graduating students to reflect on their happy memories of being here at Durham College,” said Hillis. “But it’s also a way for students to be indirectly giving back to another student and they can give back by simply participating.”

Participating students were also included in a draw.  Prizes included a $500 cash prize, Toronto Maple Leaf tickets, a Fit Bit and a few other gifts donated from various local companies.  There were approximately 450 student participants in this year’s SCC.

The Alumni Association also hosted a Count Down to Grad event.  The event is a pre-grad party for students. It helps students understand alumni benefits, how to enroll for convocation, and employment services offered to alumni.  Students had an opportunity to fill out the survey at this event, which was hosted at the three Durham College campuses.  This year’s turnout was approximately 800 students awaiting their graduation.

“It’s a good motivating event,” says Wiseman.  “It gets them excited for the fact that they’re about to graduate.”

Most importantly, the SCC is an opportunity for graduating students to help future students.  By sharing their memories, future students are able to to come to Durham College and to make new, exciting memories of their own.