There are many things to consider when deciding to make a charitable donation. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions fielded by UVic development officers from new or prospective supporters of the university:
Contact the UVic Development Office to learn more, at (250) 721-7624.
During his career as a physician, Dr. Bob Lane developed an interest in preventive medicine and his involvement in public health led him to seek a better understanding of demography-the analyses of population changes resulting from birth, death and disease rates.
Now, to encourage students of social sciences to pursue graduate studies in demography, he and his wife Kay have established a scholarship for graduate studies in demography.
"It's a subject of everyone's concern, really. It has been taught broadly in the social sciences and as a field it has really grown a lot in the last 50 years," he says.
"I think Dr. Lane's contribution reflects the increasing recognition of the importance of population issues in the world today (and) there appears to be an increasing interest in demography among our graduate students," says sociology professor Dr. Zheng Wu. "The scholarship will encourage more grad students working in the area of demography."
"One of the things that has been pointed out is that the demographers who had been working from the late '20s on-none of them anticipated the Baby Boom" says Lane. "Why did the Baby Boom only occur in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Britain to some extent but not much in France, Europe or Asia? I wanted to encourage students in sociology, who are interested in demographymake it a little easier for them to take graduate work."
Lane graduated from Victoria College and received his medical training at McGill. He and Kay met at Montreal General Hospital when he was interning and she was working as a nurse.
Bob was president of the UVic alumni association from 1992 to 1994.
SASKATOON The last link in the Alumni Association's network of branches across Canada was forged in January when the Saskatoon Branch was launched at a reception held at the Radisson Hotel. Of the invited alumni from the greater Saskatoon area, 23 attended the event-the highest participation average ever recorded by the association. The alumni were met by Nels Granewall, who distributed alumni pins, fridge magnets and car decals to all attendees. Older alumni were delighted to see clips of Craigdarroch Castle and the Lansdowne Campus in the alumni video. Recent graduates, who had not been back to campus for some time, were impressed by the new buildings and facilities, particularly the $11 million addition to the Student Union Building. A question and answer session followed, raising many queries about former professors and class-mates. The event wrapped up with the distribution of door prizes consisting of Victoria College and UVic memorabilia, the most popular being copies of Dr. Peter Smith's book A Multitude of the Wise...UVic remembered.
For more information about the Saskatoon branch, and if you would like to help plan events such as pub nights, pot-luck dinners, wine-tastings, etc., please contact branch representative Steven Lake (BFA '94). Steven, who is a doctoral student in educational administration at the University of Saskatchewan, can be reached by telephone at (306) 384-7561, or e-mail: <email@example.com>. Your input and interest is welcome.
CALGARY Our new branch representative in Calgary, Nikki Ballendine (BSc '98), was delighted to welcome President David Strong and Jim Griffith, executive director, external relations, development and alumni affairs, to a reception attended by 42 alumni at the Palliser Hotel in February. The UVic representatives mixed with the alumni and got first-hand reports from the graduates on what they wanted from their association. Great food and refreshments were enjoyed by everyone, and Dr. Strong enjoyed the opportunity of bringing the latest news from UVic. We have had much positive feedback from attendees, and are grateful to Nikki for her work in making the event such a success. If you would like to participate in Calgary branch events, and particularly if you want to help Nikki organize these activities, please contact her by telephone at (403) 287-3146, or by e-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Nikki will appreciate any of your comments and suggestions.
OTTAWA President Strong and Jim Griffith continued their program of meeting the alumni by attending a reception in late February at the Ottawa Congress Centre attended by 35 alumni. Branch Representative Garth Frizzell welcomed the UVic visitors and reviewed past branch activities as well as proposed events. Dr. Strong brought the graduates up to date on current affairs at UVic, and indicated that there will be a capital campaign to raise funds for a new library.
UVic's On-Line Community, launched last October, has proven to be a popular new service for alumni, students and staff. By the end of February over 1,000 people had registered.
With 120 mentor profiles in the system, the service is now being offered to students. It is expected that the e-mail forwarding feature will be of particular interest to new graduates who can put their permanent alumni address on their resumes and give it to friends and associates before moving on to careers or further studies elsewhere.
Since the on-line mentor service is unique in Canada and possibly the world, several other universities have expressed interest. Future plans include cloning the UVic OLC for other Canadian universities. Linking the on-line mentor databases will create a much deeper and richer resource for all users of the service. Visit http://alumni.uvic.ca/olc.
Carla Millar raised $25,000 in her first year with the UVic Student Calling program. "A lot of people say it's my voice. Not too professional. Not too slack. Just honest, that's the main thing."
Now, in her third year with the program, she has supervised a nightly shift of 12 student callers. She even wrote a paper on why alumni and supporters contribute to the university.
"They see it as a way to increase the value of their degree. If the university is successful, then their degree may be worth more. It's like investing in themselves."
"It helps when you say you are a student,"says Jen Owen. She plans to major in social work and finds that many grads, particularly those with kids of their own at university, are quick to inquire about her plans. "They ask what (you're studying), it's a personal touch...kind of a sense of family."
The McPherson Library is a popular choice among donors who choose to designate where their support is to be directed, as is direct support for students, such as scholarships and bursaries.
Callers never know what sort of a response they're going to receive when they phone somebody out of the blue. The initial attempt can be pretty intimidating. "The first call is very nerve-racking. It's always a mess," says Millar.
But the first call was exciting at the same time for Alma Prescesky. "I thought, wow, I can do it!"
Prescesky's inspired by responses from donors. An artist she spoke to wants to donate some of his work. Another person donated a violin. "It's really neat that everyone has their own way of supporting the university. It's nice that we can accept (gifts) other than just money."
This past year's Student Calling program marked a major increase in the effort. Nineteen students were hired, with 12 on duty each night. Three new positions were made possible, thanks in part to a grant from the UVic alumni association.
Donors can earmark any university area they would like their donation to go, but there are suggested areas for those with no specific designation in mind: the UVic excellence fund, the library enrichment fund; the alumni fund; the proposed infant and toddler child care centre; and general scholarships and bursary funds.
When Don MacDonald was working toward his UVic law degree in the late 1970s he spent many evenings around the dinner table at the home of Murray and Anne Fraser, their shared Nova Scotian roots having drawn them together.
"They were an outstanding and inspiring couple," MacDonald says of the Frasers.
So it's natural for MacDonald to be chairing the fundraising drive to raise $100,000 for the Murray and Anne Fraser Endowment, the fund established for the law faculty by the Frasers prior to Murray's death in March, 1997.
"It was very easy to get involved in this project. Murray earned our respect. He deserves to be remembered."
Fraser, founding dean of the UVic law faculty, viewed law as a social process and his vision resonates through the faculty to this day.
He earned the admiration of many. "I thought I had a very special relationship with him. At his commemorative event at UVic, I realized that everyone felt the same way," says MacDonald, who graduated in 1980. "He taught not only the rules of law. He also asked us to consider the societal values the law enshrines."
"The response (to donation requests) has been gratifying," MacDonald says. "I spent a delightful evening with Murray about a year before he died. His only concern that night was the continuing trend of significant cuts to educational funding. He was a veteran of B.C.'s restraint years and then he graduated to the big leagues at the University of Calgary when (the Alberta) government slashed its budget. He was constantly troubled by cutbacks."
The Murray and Anne Fraser Endowment supports areas of the law faculty that have been particularly hard hit by revenue shortfalls-students, non-academic staff development, faculty research, and learning enhancement.
Each of the categories receives funding every four years.
Fraser was UVic vice president, academic, from 1983-88 before becoming president and vice chancellor of the University of Calgary, retiring in 1996.
Two affinity partners have joined forces with the UVic Alumni Association to offer two great new services to alumni: Home Insurance and a co-branded MasterCard. Together with the existing affinity partners-Seaboard Life Insurance and BCTEL Sympatico-the alumni association is able to offer high quality products and services and at the same time support scholarships, bursaries, grants and services.
Meloche Monnex, a new affinity partner,will provide home, small business and travel medical insurance programs at special group rates to UVic alumni. This firm was chosen in a tender process above two other national firms because of their very impressive track record and reputation. For the past four years, Meloche Monnex service-quality surveys have indicated a 97 per cent client-satisfaction rating. Their standards result in service excellence in all aspects, whether it's responding to a first inquiry, finding out which coverage is best, or settling a claim. Insurance limits and coverage are updated regularly to provide alumni customers with the best and most competitive policies. Various premium reductions are available and "All Risk" policies offer added coverage at no extra cost. Policies automatically include $1,000,000 personal liability coverage, and earthquake coverage is available at competitive premiums.Wide Horizons Solution is a Meloche Monnex exclusive product with many advantages that include: $1,000,000 coverage throughout the year for your entire family, covering medical expenses in emergencies during any trip of 60 days or less outside the customer's home province, and includes trip cancellation coverage.
Small Business Insurance-Micro-enterprise Solution is Meloche Monnex's in-home business insurance and professional office insurance for members who work at home or from their own office.
Alumni members who provide Meloche Monnex with the expiry dates of their current home insurance policy, request a no obligation quote, buy or renew a home insurance policy, will be automatically entered to win one of two Mercedes-Benz C230 Classic, valued at approximately $38,000 each. Call Meloche Monnex for more details. You can reach them directly at 1-800-268-8955. Visit: www.melochemonnex.com
Meloche Monnex is part of the Canada Trust group of companies.
The other new service introduced this year is a new MasterCard program offered by MBNA Canada. Two cards are available, both with no annual fee. The "preferred card" features a photograph of the UVic library with fountain in the foreground and the UVic logo. The "Gold" card features the UVic logo.
Proposals for the UVic card were invited and received from four banks. MBNA Canada was chosen because of its reputation of superior customer service. Like Meloche Monnex, MBNA consistently exceeds its own exceptionally high customer service standards. These standards include: incoming calls being answered within 20 seconds 96% of the time; calls are answered by a person-not a machine; and, credit line increase requests are reviewed in one hour or less. Toll free customer service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. MBNA also offers additional cards at no additional charge, credit card cheques for balance transfers at an introductory rate of 5.9% for 5 months, travel accident insurance, purchase protection up to $60,000 per account, and more.
Since a mailing was released in January, the alumni affairs office has received calls from people concerned that their names have been sold to MBNA or the Canadian Direct Marketing Association. This is not the case. Name and address information is provided to MBNA for the sole and single purpose of mailing an offer to our members. Under the terms of our agreement, no other use of this information is permitted nor may it be sold or otherwise made available to any other party except for a third party mailing house which is also bound by the agreement.
Concern has also been raised that our program is not offered by a Canadian bank. This is also false. MBNA Canada is an authorized Schedule II institution under the Bank Act of 1991. They are a subsidiary of MBNA America Bank, which is the largest independent credit card issuer in the world, having operations in the US, Britain, Ireland and now Canada. Since most Canadian based banks are also international in their scope of operations, we were not overly concerned about MBNA Canada having an American parent. What we really want is excellent customer service and satisfaction for our members, and we are convinced that MBNA Canada can deliver that.
For information, contact the Alumni Affairs Office. We will also respect all requests to be excluded from mailings or phone calls to promote this or our other Affinity Products and Services.
UVic Development has a web site. Check out web.uvic.ca/development/ for more information on giving to the University. Preparing your will? The page on bequests gives a few suggested clauses and information on choosing an executor. Considering ways to give a donation and receive an income for life? The pages on gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts may be of interest. There is also information on the tax benefits of giving and the tax credit changes announced in February's budget.
Catharine A. McLeod
Annual Giving Coordinator
University House 1
University of Victoria
Victoria, BC V8W 3R4
Tel: (250) 721-6003
Fax: (250) 721-8961