Bill and Elsa Cade receive Generosity of Spirit Award

President Emeritus Dr. Bill Cade and his wife Elsa have a saying: "We've always believed in the 3 Ts," says Bill. "Time, treasure and talent. Everyone can help their community and fellow humans in at least one of those ways."

Both originally from Texas, the former president of the U of L and his wife Elsa certainly have all three areas covered and were recently recognized with a Generosity of Spirit award at a National Philanthropy Day event in Calgary.

The Cades were honoured in the family category of the program, which also recognizes the philanthropy of individuals, companies and organizations. The video below was shown at the event.

As strong supporters of education and youth, the Cades have established the Bill and Elsa Salazar Cade Scholarship in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Lethbridge, the endowment of which has reached nearly $130,000. They have both contributed to countless student fundraisers and have volunteered their time with many local organizations, including the Lethbridge Youth Foundation, Alberta Science Foundation and the Lethbridge United Way. In recognition of her long-standing service to the community, Elsa was awarded the 2010 University of Lethbridge Senate Volunteer award.

When he was president, Bill often found himself on the front lines of fundraising.

"More than once I would say to potential supporters, I wouldn't ask you to do anything I haven't done myself," he says. "To be in the position of asking people, you have to be there yourself. Otherwise it just doesn't work. "

One such donation garnered a lot of attention. In the spring of 2010, they donated their much-loved 1984 BMW, affectionately named Michael Nolan, to the University of Lethbridge Students' Union to be raffled off in support of student scholarships. The unique donation raised more than $30,000 through ticket sales to students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

For those looking to start their philanthropic journey, Elsa has some advice: "Get involved in your community and in what interests you," she says. "Giving doesn't have to come out of your wallet. When it's something that's close to you, it's amazing what you can accomplish."