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Source: Thompson Rivers University

Foundation kicks off campaign with highest total ever

October 12, 2006

- At its annual kick-off breakfast this morning, the TRU Foundation raised
$71,065, with 70 per cent of the total coming from a single donor.

Ken Lepin earmarked his $50,000 endowment for TRU trades apprenticeship
programs, and in addition to his endowment, the local developer made a
planned giving bequest that will add to this endowment for further support
to trades students in perpetuity.

Lepinís history as a local developer working with trades people inspired him
to elevate the opportunity trades trained students could have, and with this
award, aims to support excellent students in the trades. His award will go
to students in five entry-level trades who demonstrate excellence in many
trades areas, including such criteria as craftsmanship, project design and
academic achievement. He hopes that by providing a $1000 prize for a top
student annually, his fund will make an impact on students and inspire them
to achieve their greatest potential in a variety of their educational and
training components.

Mr. Lepin has also been invited to sit on one of the divisionís program
advisory committees by Ralph Finch, TRUís Dean of the School of Trades and

"Mr. Lepinís life experiences and his success motivated him to choose the
TRU Foundation as a place to give back to our community," explained Kathleen
Biagioni, Foundation Executive Director. "Working with donors like Mr.
Lepin, who have a vision of the difference that they can make in studentsí
lives, is a growing opportunity for us at TRU. We are grateful for this
generous level of commitment from Ken Lepin today."

TRU president and vice-chancellor Roger Barnsley echoed Biagioniís remarks,
saying, "TRU owes its existence to strong community support. We welcome the
investment that Mr. Lepin has made in our university and in our students."

Biagioni was also pleased to see that about a third of the people attending
the breakfast took pledge forms with them. Any pledges made within the next
two weeks will still be matched to the Foundationís unrestricted fund, she

The breakfast, sponsored by Howard Bingham Hill Architects, also featured a
talk by Kim Rathwell-Austin, 2006 TRU Bachelor of Social Work degree
graduate, 2003 Lieutenant Governorís Silver Medalist, and former Foundation
student award recipient, who said, "As a recipient of bursaries and
scholarships I give thanks to you. Someone believed in me enough to give me
money and that in turn made me accountable to myself, to the faculty, to the
larger community of TRU, to the donor and to my fellow students. I donít
know how many of you have had to live off of a student loan, but as a single
mother of two I can tell you that for me , it meant choices between
necessities such as luncheon meat and printer ink. Receiving funding from
donors such as you made the choices a heck of a lot easier, so thank you
from the bottom of my heart."

Paul Wright, this yearís annual campaign chairman and master of ceremonies,
noted in his opening remarks,
"From personal experience I can tell you what a tremendous feeling it is to
hand out an award to a student at the annual awards ceremony. Last year we
were able to provide awards to over 1300 students who applied for financial
aid through money provided by the TRU Board of Governors and TRU Foundation
donors. Unfortunately, another 500 students who applied for aid did not get
any assistance because there was a shortage of funds available. Our goal is
to close the gap on this shortage."

Last year the TRU Foundation awarded over $1 million in scholarships and
bursaries to TRU students. Its endowment funds now total almost $7 million,
and last year its planned giving program was advised of $1.8 million in
expectancies from donors leaving a legacy through a gift to TRU in their
will or through a life insurance policy.


For more information, please call:
Kathleen Biagioni at 828-5266
Ken Lepin at 828-1336



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