Celebration for a gift that will keep on giving

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Celebration for a gift that will keep on giving

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Published on 14 July 2015

A multi-level parking facility unlike any other in the region will be officially opened at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday 15 July at 10.30am.

The $10 million carpark development, which contains a total of 515 parking bays, was funded by a $5million gift to USC last year by philanthropist and property developer Roy Thompson and his wife, Nola, that was matched dollar-for-dollar by the University.

Its significance goes beyond just providing additional parking bays for the growing campus, as revenues raised from its operation in USC’s regulated parking zone will fund the Thompson Excellence Scholarship scheme for high-achieving students and the Thompson Study Support Scholarship scheme for students in financial need.

Invited guests include Mr and Mrs Thompson, Member for Fisher Mal Brough, Member for Fairfax Clive Palmer and Sunshine Coast Councillors Christian Dickson and Greg Rogerson.

Speeches will be made by USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill and Chancellor John Dobson before Mr and Mrs Thompson have the honour of being the first motorists to drive into the carpark.

The four-storey facility, with a total floor space of 12,868 square metres, was built by Badge Constructions between September and March.

Mr Thompson said his donation to USC was aimed at establishing something that would support Sunshine Coast students over many years into the future.

"Scholarships to keep bright kids on the Coast and to help those struggling to afford to go to university, funded by a new carpark, seemed like a good way to do this," he said.

Professor Hill said USC and its students were fortunate to have the support of Roy and Nola Thompson.

"Hundreds of students will benefit from these scholarships over the years ahead, giving them the opportunity to get degrees and pursue the careers they want," he said.

The first Thompson Excellence Scholarships, valued at $32,000 each, were presented in February to four new USC students – Brendan Boyd of James Nash State High School, Tayla Dokonal of Unity College, Naomi Joyce of Suncoast Christian College and Erin McLaren of Sunshine Beach State High School.

The first Thompson Study Support Scholarships will be awarded soon.

— Terry Walsh

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