Significant Gift Benefits Post-Secondary Students

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BRANDON, Man. (November 28, 2014)—A substantial gift from a Westman couple with deep ties to the area will assist future students at Brandon University (BU) and Assiniboine Community College (ACC) in achieving their educational goals.

Ruth and Mel Turnbull
Ruth and Mel Turnbull

The Mel and Ruth Turnbull Trust is providing identical endowments of $261,589 to both institutions in support of student awards. The announcement came earlier today at BU with members of the extended Turnbull family in attendance. Mel Turnbull passed away in 1996, and Ruth in 2013.

Marion McGregor, a niece living near Ottawa, ON, says, “Mel and Ruth never forgot what they had derived and what their families had derived” from higher education, beginning when Mel took music lessons at Brandon University (then Brandon College) at the age of five. (Learn more about the Turnbulls here.)

BU President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Gervan Fearon, says, “We are thankful for the gracious gift made by Mel and Ruth Turnbull. This gift will provide ongoing assistance to many individuals seeking access to post-secondary education for a better future. Indeed, the Turnbull gift is about the future and shaping new possibilities for the next generation.”

Marion MacGregor speaks on behalf of the family (web)
Marion MacGregor speaking on behalf of the family

The Mel and Ruth Turnbull Bursary at Brandon University will support outstanding undergraduate or graduate students with demonstrated financial need. Each year, approximately $12,000 will be shared, providing bursaries of up to full-tuition for a number of BU students pursuing academic degrees.

ACC will present two full-time students with bursaries of up to $5,000 each year. Preference will be given to those who have graduated from Hartney School and will be selected based on financial need. After 10 years, the bursary may be given to any ACC student, but will maintain a maximum of $5,000.

“Mr. and Mrs. Turnbull have left a legacy marked by deep appreciation and respect for education and the impact it has on individuals, families and communities,“ said Mark Frison, president of ACC. “This generous gift will dramatically change the lives of recipients every year by reducing the financial barriers to pursing an education.”

Each year, BU distributes more than $1.2 million dollars in scholarships, awards and bursaries. ACC provides between $150,000 and $200,000 annually to students. Today’s announcement reflects a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two institutions in August, with the key theme of making the City of Brandon a destination for post-secondary education.



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