Money raised from marketplace to fund alumni studies
By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
Last week, students bought candles, jewelry, kitchenware, scarves and other accessories in support of the Douglas College Alumni Association’s quarterly marketplace event. A wide array of vendors rented space from the Alumni Association in the New Westminster concourse and the David Lam atrium. The money raised for table rental, generally $4,500-$5,000 annually, goes towards the alumni bursary, a useful but lesser known fund for Douglas alumni continuing their education elsewhere. Douglas qualifications for alumni status consist of students who have completed 45 credits or more with the college.
“It’s all about engaging with students and employees and bringing a bit of life to the concourse,” explained Andrew Senjack, alumni relations coordinator. “It’s a nice fundraiser for us.”
The annual career fair predates even the David Lam campus and is running for the 23rd year. The career fair is the primary fundraising vehicle for the Alumni Association, generating between $6,000 and $7,000 a year.
“The majority of the [career fair] money will go to the alumni, and we have money that goes towards gift cards for our volunteers,” said Senjack.
The main purpose of the alumni association is the distribution of its bursary. Around $10,000-$12,000 goes to alumni, and is distributed three times a year—February 1, June 1, and October 1. The bursary is for students looking to come back to Douglas College, university transfer students, or graduate school applicants looking to fund the often expensive master’s degree.
“I have people who graduated 20 years ago and decided to go back to school. Because it is a bursary [distribution] is heavily influenced by community involvement,” explained Senjack. “If you’ve volunteered in the community you can apply for the bursary. The alumni association is building relations with young students with the events we do. Last year we did the fall fair at the David Lam campus, a community event for families.”
Another service provided by the alumni association is the distribution of alumni cards—electronic cards that function like student IDs, giving access to the library and fitness facilities for free. The card also grants alumni student prices at Douglas Theatre Program productions.
The March 4 and 6 career fair will give students face-to-face access to employment representatives from BC Hydro, the RCMP, Paladin Security, Sunlife Financial, the RBC, and 19 other businesses looking to hire both students and alumni. Students looking to volunteer at the career fair are urged to email Senjack at firstname.lastname@example.org.