May 4, 2007
UNBC has secured a $2 million private pledge to the Northern Medical Programs Trust that is completing the original fundraising program more than one year ahead of schedule. The announcement was made today by UNBC President Don Cozzetto at the North Central Municipal Association conference in Williams Lake. It is the second-largest donation ever received by UNBC.
Since 2002, communities throughout the region have been raising money to support students in the new Northern Medical Program. The funds are intended to support the recruitment, education, and retention of health professionals in northern and rural communities. The original goal was $6 million by 2008 and it has been reached with the announcement today of a $2 million pledge from an anonymous donor.
“What a tremendous accomplishment for the whole region; one that we could not have achieved without the support of communities, corporations, and thousands of individual donors,” says UNBC President Don Cozzetto. “This show-of-support by a region for an educational program may be unprecedented in Canadian history. It shows that the North has been prepared to put its money where its mouth is in terms of supporting the educational resources it needs for community vitality.”
The $6 million endowment will allow for about $300,000 to be paid out to students every year, forever. Currently, the Northern Medical Program admits 24 new students per year and the program’s first students will graduate next year. Since the launch of the Northern Medical Programs Trust, it now includes provisions to support other health science programming at UNBC. The funds are being managed by a Board that includes representatives of northern communities, UNBC, the Northern Medical Program, and corporate partners.
“It has been an honour to have been involved with the University, the medical program, and other communities through this project,” says NMPT Chair Marylin Davies of Terrace. “It is rare for so many communities to be united behind a common program, but it shows what can be achieved when we work together.”
To date, 20 communities have pledged to support the original NMPT goal, with the pledge amounts calculated on the basis of their populations. Tumbler Ridge and Burns Lake were the first communities to realize their pledge amounts.
Fort St. James
Fort St. John
Rob van Adrichem, Director of Media and Public Relations, UNBC – 250.960.5622
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