Contributions of donors, volunteers celebrated at BU Foundation’s Annual Luncheon

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BRANDON, Man. – Gerald Butler and Shawn Chambers were recipients of major awards as the Brandon University Foundation recognized donors and volunteers at its Annual Luncheon on Friday, May 13 at Harvest Hall.

Butler received the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award, recognizing individuals who have demonstrated exceptional skills and leadership in coordinating and motivating others for fundraising in partnership with Brandon University (BU). He graduated from Brandon College with a Bachelor of Science in 1963 and an Education One degree in 1964, and has been a longtime supporter of BU, serving as Foundation president in 1987 and 1988.

Last year, Butler launched an initiative that has raised more than $50,000 to provide iPads for participants in BU’s Program for the Education of Native Teachers (PENT), which trains students to teach in remote and Aboriginal communities. The iPads provide the PENT students with access to online resources, including textbooks, curriculum support and lesson planning, to help with their university course work and in the classroom when they return to teach in their home communities.

Chambers received the Honorary Trustee Apex Award, recognizing meritorious service and leadership to the Foundation. Chambers attended BU from 1985 to 1986 and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba. He was a Foundation Board member from 2008 to 2014, serving as Treasurer for four years.

In 2014, Chambers was appointed by the Province of Manitoba as an Order-in-Council member of the BU Board of Governors. In September 2015, he was appointed as an Executive Officer and serves as Secretary and of the Board Executive Committee and Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee. He also represents the Board of Governors on the Board of Trustees of the BU Retirement Plan.

“More than $2.5 million was raised for BU through the Foundation in 2015,” said Foundation President Jeff Cristall.

“The benefit of these donations is felt in all areas of the University. They support academic initiatives and research, help us to upgrade our facilities and provide valuable resources in addition to funding scholarships and bursaries for students. I am proud to see my fellow alumni and other supporters answer the call to meet the changing needs of BU and its students.”

The Foundation also recognized donors who joined or reached new levels of the Order of the Sheaf. Membership in the Order of the Sheaf is granted to each donor who has reached a cumulative level of $1,000 in gifts to BU, with more than 90 donors joining the Order or reaching a new level in 2015.

“The work of the Foundation and the generosity of our supporters are vital to the continued health and vibrancy of Brandon University,” said BU President and Vice-Chancellor Gervan Fearon. “It is through their combined contributions, at all levels, that we are able to provide excellent education and research opportunities and to meet the needs of province. I would like to thank all of our donors and volunteers for helping to change the lives of our students and strengthen the community.”

The BU Foundation is the University’s charitable fundraising arm and steward of the donations that the University receives. Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has helped to raise more than $50 million to advance higher education and improve facilities and activities at BU. Donations are accepted in person, by phone at 204.727.9715 or online at


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