SOS making a difference

On May 30 and 31, the excitement of Spring Convocation was palpable at the University of Lethbridge. Caps and gowns, flowers and photographs lit up the campus as the U of L community came together to celebrate the accomplishments of over 1,400 graduates.

As Chief Marshall of Convocation, Dr. Jon Doan (PhD '06) was able to join in the excitement.

"Convocation is a great experience to share with the students," says Doan, Co-Chair of the current Supporting Our Students (SOS) campaign. "The ceremonies are a wonderful combination of tradition and excitement, and you can really see the students reflecting on their accomplishments at the U of L and envisioning their futures."

Many people play a supportive role in the life of a student. From friends and family to faculty and staff, a support system is crucial to student success. That's why the Supporting Our Students campaign is so important.

Jon Doan
Dr. Jon Doan, seen here on the left administering his Chief Marshall duties at convocation, is the Co-Chair of the 2012-2013 Supporting Our Students campaign.

Judy Jaeger, long-time supporter of SOS, is the other Co-Chair of the current campaign.

"I know my donations are always needed," she says. "I see firsthand the struggles students face daily; 25 per cent of my employees in the caretaking department are students taking full course loads. My SOS contributions help them succeed."

In 2012, a total of 330 faculty, staff and retirees contributed to SOS, totalling over $174,000 in gifts and pledges. In 2013, 238 participants have already contributed over $55,000 in gifts and pledges.

Through the generosity of these donors, approximately 2,000 scholarships and bursaries have been awarded to students over the past year. This amazing show of support resonates far beyond the classroom.

"As donors, we might be providing the funds for a student to take that formative course that 'flips the switch' on their education, or to join that eye-opening class trip or student event, or to buy that innovative course textbook that exposes a whole new interest," says Doan, who contributes to SOS on an ongoing basis.

As the 2012-2013 campaign comes to a close, Jaeger and Doan are proud of how it has progressed and look forward to staying involved as volunteers. Watch for an announcement on the SOS Co-Chairs for the 2013-2014 campaign, launching in September.

If you haven't yet made your 2013 gift, the Co-Chairs encourage you to do so.

"We are all here for the students. Without them, this campus would be empty," emphasizes Jaeger. "Please join Jon and myself in giving back to students on a monthly basis. Thank you for putting students first."

For more information on Supporting Our Students, or to make a donation today, visit or call 403-329-2582.

This story first appeared in the June 2013 edition of the Legend. For a look at the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.