Graduate students pursuing environment-related studies will be eligible for new bursaries thanks to a donation from TD Bank Financial Group.
The $400,000 endowed donation, which was presented this week on Memorial’s St. John’s campus, will enable the university to advance its teaching and research strengths in multiple environment-related disciplines.
Dr. Christopher W. Loomis, Memorial’s president and vice-chancellor, pro tempore, Chancellor General Rick J. Hillier (Ret’d), and Bruce Shirreff, senior vice president TD Canada Trust, were joined by Dr. Noreen Golfman, dean of the School of Graduate Studies, and the Honourable Darin King, Minister of Education, as well as special guests, TD representatives, senior university administration, faculty and students.
TD’s support enables Memorial to address an urgent need to build its number and level of graduate awards. In 2008-09, only 79 graduate students – three per cent of the graduate student population – received donated financial support.
“A key pillar of Memorial’s Strategic Plan is to grow our capacity, impact and reputation in research. Increasing the number of graduate students, especially those in PhD programs, is critical to achieving that goal,” said Dr. Loomis.
Dr. Noreen Golfman, dean of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), said the donation will go a long way in supporting graduate-level environmental research at Memorial.
“This funding will not only enable scholars to advance cutting-edge research projects, but will also make it possible for deserving students to focus more on their academic pursuits without the burden of financial obstacles,” she said.
TD’s Bruce Shirreff said that strengthening Memorial’s ability to provide such opportunities to students will have a lasting impact on our environment for years to come.
“The environment and Canada are forever linked, and we recognize the growing need to provide students with access to funding so we can advance our country’s expertise in this important field,” he said.
“These bursaries support the provincial government’s innovation strategy which is focused on stimulating innovation in the province and providing the necessary resources for academic and research institutions,” said Minister King. “This is good news for the students and good news for the future of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Dr. Loomis echoed this sentiment.
“Through this generous gift, Memorial will be able to offer more competitive financial packages to attract the best students wishing to pursue advanced studies and research on the environment. That is important not only to the future of Memorial, but to the sustainability of the planet we all share.”