RDC campaign aims to boost scholarships, awards
Red Deer College kicked off its 50th anniversary on Tuesday by unveiling an extensive mural documenting the institution’s history and announcing a drive for more donations.
The linking generations donation initiative aims to grow the college’s student awards and scholarships to $1 million, said Michael Donlevy, RDC vice-president enterprise and community relations.
“The challenge students have to gain access to post-secondary is often financial,” said Donlevy, adding the college already gives away between $700,000 and $750,000 in awards and scholarships.
“What we want to do is give out $1 million in scholarships to potential and existing students.”
Under the initiative, which was announced on Tuesday at an event in front of the RDC main gym, the college hopes to grow the amount it gives out in scholarships and awards by $300,000 over the next three years, but college staff are hopeful it will take less time to do so.
According to Donlevy, the college’s endowment fund has grown from $2 million to $18 million over the last 10 years.
Although the college’s endowment fund provides a significant amount in earnings, which the college uses for scholarships and awards, individual annual awards also contribute to what the college gives its students.
Donlevy said if they were going to increase the endowment fund to provide $300,000 in earnings, it would take at least $6 million in donations.
“We think we can do a lot better by getting individuals to consider annual awards.”
The average award the college gives out is worth about $1,000. Donlevy said they give out about 600 or so awards per year and with the new money they would be able to provide about 300 more awards a year.
On top of the announcement of the initiative to raise more money for awards and scholarships, RDC president and CEO Joel Ward unveiled a mural highlighting the college’s past 50 years.
“It demonstrates 50 years of solid growth and success, meeting the needs of learners in Central Alberta,” said Ward. “We’re very proud of that first 50 years.”
Ward said every event that happens this year will have a 50th anniversary twist.