On May 8, over 100 of the University’s most loyal donors gathered to celebrate community giving with a new donor recognition wall being unveiled. The wall exhibit is a permanent fixture on the entrance wall of the award-winning Chancellery building.
The names reflect individuals, businesses and organisations who have made a significant gift to the University, particularly its Building Excellence campaign. Donor names are updated annually, though members of the University’s Founders Circle will remain listed in perpetuity.
USC Foundation Board Chair, Tim Faifax AM, said “every gift to the University is greatly appreciated, no matter what size it is. This university and its campaign is all about the diversity of this community and the people’s support for USC in whatever way possible.”
The names on the donor wall reflect a wide range of donors. Judy Henzell who attended the event with her daughter Mary, gives $1,000 each year towards a student bursary. “I think it’s important to support students who are keen to learn regardless of their circumstances."
Leonie Williams, an academic in USC’s Nursing program, recently set up two endowed prizes in memory of her parents. The prizes—one in Nursing and one in Engineering—will be awarded in perpetuity.
Ben Hancock, who graduated from USC with a masters in Financial Planning in 2006, gave $250 towards the alumni native tree project last year, part of the campaign’s campus enhancement initiative. “The University provided me with the opportunity to grow my knowledge and my career and I wanted to give something back,” Ben said.
Vice-Chancellor Paul Thomas extended his gratitude to USC’s donors. “This is not just about putting up a list of names for the world to see,” he said. “This wall represents the mutual goodwill between a community and its university.”
A second donor wall, honouring donors to the Building Excellence Campaign in perpetuity, will be erected at the entrance of the new Health and Sport Centre in 2009. Gifts to the Building Excellence campaign are being accepted through the end of 2008.
Over 65 USC students are benefitting this year from donor-funded scholarships. Here are two students whose lives have been impacted by philanthropy.
No one was more surprised to hear that Matt Osberger received the Neuendorf Group Scholarship than Matt Osberger. “I was really shocked and really happy” Matt said about learning of his award. “It means a lot to me. If it weren’t for this scholarship, I would definitely be up the creek without a paddle.”
Matt’s scholarship assists students with financial hardship who have achieved high academic standards and are goal-oriented.
“I like sports and competing—it keeps me sane.” Matt wasted no time demonstrating this to his new campus community—at Orientation week he took first place in the Great Court Race.
As a double degree major in Education and Science, Matt’s career goal is to teach at the secondary school level on the Sunshine Coast. He says he now better understands the different ways of helping students. “If I’m financially able, I will definitely do the same for a uni student some day and fund a scholarship.”
When Karina Hamilton received top scores—OP1—upon graduating from high school in Hervey Bay, she had her pick of Australian universities. “I knew I wanted to study biomedical sciences, so I considered going to Brisbane. But when I came to USC’s Open Day, everyone was so supportive and friendly—I knew it was where I wanted to be.”
Now in her second semester studying science (honours) at USC, Karina’s education is being supported through the Renouf Family Scholarship. “University would be a great burden on my family if it weren’t for the scholarship,” Karina said.
Earlier this year Karina had the opportunity to meet Sir Clem Renouf, the benefactor who founded the Renouf Family Scholarship. The two have plans to keep in contact. “I very much want to keep in touch with the Renouf family. I am so thankful to them, from the very bottom of my heart.”