Costco generosity supports Dhillon School of Business students

Students in the Dhillon School of Business at the University of Lethbridge now have access to a second bursary thanks to a $25,000 donation from Costco Wholesale Canada.

The gift builds on the bursary Costco first established in 2015 to provide one bursary to a second-year student in the Dhillon School of Business.

“Costco is proud to establish this bursary and provide financial assistance to a student at the University of Lethbridge so they can achieve their career goals,” said Benoit Louis-Seize, benefits and pension manager with Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd. “We wish students who receive the bursary all the success in their studies.”

Carissa Vanden Hoek
Carissa Vanden Hoek, now a third-year student majoring in accounting in the Dhillon School of Business, says the bursary has allowed her to focus on her studies.

“It was a nice surprise when I received the bursary from Costco,” says Vanden Hoek. “Whenever I get a scholarship or bursary, I’m really grateful. I would have to work 40 hours to earn that amount of money, so it’s 40 hours I can spend just working on my schoolwork and studying.”

Vanden Hoek, who’s originally from Fort Macleod, works full-time in the summer — sometimes at two jobs — and part-time during the school year to cover her costs.

“It’s always nice to see support from bigger companies in the Lethbridge area,” she says. “They are supporting the future of the city and surrounding region.”

Samy (Samantha) Tams Betts, who’s now in her fourth year of a five-year combined degree in management and health sciences, is originally from Taber. She received the Costco bursary when she was just starting her second year and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Samantha Tams Betts

“I had reconstructive shoulder surgery the summer before my second year, so being unable to work for most of the summer meant I went into the fall with less savings than I’d planned for,” says Tams Betts. “This bursary, and the others I received for my second year, made the biggest difference at a time when I really was struggling.”

Not having to work as many shifts at her part-time job as a disability support worker, Tams Betts could focus on her studies and participate in two clubs, one of them as president of the Human Resource Management Club. It also freed up her time to start training for a race. The following April she completed her first half marathon.

“I truly don’t believe I could have done this without the financial assistance I received,” she says. “Being physically active supports my mental health to excel academically. It’s also really encouraging to have somebody say they recognize what you’re doing and want to help you meet those goals.”

Costco has always been a great supporter of the U of L and offers students great deals on memberships if they present their student ID card at the Membership Services desk.

The bursary is given to a second-year Dhillon School of Business student in financial need who completed high school in southern Alberta. Other criteria include having completed a full-course load and received a minimum 2.0 grade point average in each course in the previous fall and spring semesters.

The investment is part of the U of L’s SHINE campaign and highlights the community’s involvement in supporting students and promoting opportunities for them to thrive while working to achieve their academic goals.