SOS campaign full of optimism

Supporting Our Students (SOS) co-chairs Debi Sandul and Rob Wood are remaining positive despite the tough economic times. Drawing on the strong tradition of faculty and staff support at the U of L, these co-chairs are refusing to back down.

"We're all facing some level of economic uncertainty," acknowledges Wood, "but none more so than our students. This is not the time to hold back. This is the time to give more."

In their time on campus, both Sandul and Wood have seen the difficulties students face when pursuing a university education. They can also attest to the difference scholarships and bursaries make.

"Students should be focused on their studies instead of worrying about tuition, rent or groceries," says Sandul. "Students are the reason the rest of us are here, and we need to be a part of keeping them here. Your support allows students to focus on being students by alleviating some of the financial burden."

This year's campaign focuses on addressing the growing student need by educating faculty and staff on how they can make a difference in the lives of our students.

"I hope to lead by example," says Sandul who has been a part of SOS since it's inception five years ago. "I want to raise awareness and educate people on what we're doing and how they can help in a positive way."

"We've got a great team of volunteers this year as well," recognizes Wood. "This group includes representation from across the University, including our campuses in Calgary and Edmonton. Each volunteer will be fostering momentum in his or her own department or unit and helping to build that team spirit that is so important to SOS."

Both Sandul and Wood emphasize that the success of this year's campaign will be measured by the number of donors who give, as well as by the dollars raised.

"The goal for this year's campaign is 300 contributions, but I would like to see many more than that," says Wood.

"I want people to understand that every little bit helps," explains Sandul. "The amount you choose to give is not nearly as important as your participation. If everyone on campus made just a small donation, we'd be able to do some amazing things."

Sandul, Wood and a team of SOS volunteers are out in full force and are asking for your support.

"I am perfectly happy to pester my colleagues for money," jokes Wood.

Consider yourselves warned.

For more information on how you can contribute to SOS 2010, please visit or call University Advancement at 403-329-2582.