Wider Horizons
Good things come in fives: five fingers on a hand, five toes on a foot, the five senses, five oceans, quintuplets. Without fives, we wouldn’t have nickels, the Chinese elements, the Olympic rings, the Great Lakes or five course meals. Fives are fantastic.

At Lethbridge College, five philanthropic families have joined together to help make education more accessible to students from all backgrounds. They’re building a knowledge economy, focusing on the future and changing lives by giving a cumulative $1 million gift that will support new student scholarships, awards and bursaries.

“The generosity of this $1 million gift from these families will provide access for learners in financial need and allow them to further their education to reach their career goals,” says Lethbridge College President and CEO Dr. Paula Burns. “Each year, we hear stories of student successes that would have been impossible without the financial support of student awards.”

Lethbridge College students receive nearly $950,000 annually through internal and external awards and scholarship programs. To ensure access to all, and in an effort to continue to attract and retain outstanding students, the college is committed to raising $2.5 million in new scholarships, awards and bursaries. This $1 million donation will help the college reach its goal of raising $2.5 million in new scholarships and is specifically targeted to support students in financial need. This gift was bolstered by a match from an anonymous donor, now deceased, who wanted to encourage philanthropists to invest in increasing accessibility for students in financial need as well as from a former “matching funding” initiative.

Continue reading to learn more about the five families who contributed to this “Power of Five” gift.

Ken and Lorna Bateman, who have created the Bateman Family Award. Ken Bateman is a Campaign Cabinet member and he and his wife have been involved with the college for over a decade. “We believe obtaining a post-secondary education enhances opportunities and empowers the mind. During the time we’ve been involved in Lethbridge College, we’ve had two of our daughters graduate,” says Ken Bateman. “We hope our student award will help students in need to be able to stay in college and complete their studies as well as leave a legacy for our family,” adds Lorna Bateman.

Randy and Louise Dunlop, who have created the Dunlop Family Award. Randy Dunlop is a member of the Lethbridge College Board of Governors, a Campaign Cabinet member and a member of the Lethbridge and District Auto Dealers Association, which previously donated $1 million to the college. The Dunlops believe their gift will give students a real opportunity to achieve their goals, give them a solid platform to reach their potential and allow them to support the businesses and surrounding area of southern Alberta.

Anna “Jean” and Cale Harris, who have created the Anna Jean Harris Scholarship Fund for Nursing. Prior to the passing of Jean Harris in 2012, the Harrises wanted to create a way to recognize and encourage the work of nurses and both believed that the Anna Jean Harris Nursing Scholarship would be a meaningful way to provide assistance to qualifying students as well as provide trained nurses to the growing Alberta population. In speaking about his beloved Jean, Cale Harris goes on to say that family was most important in her life. “She was a wonderfully loving, warm and caring wife, mother and grandmother. Jean had always been a strong advocate of education and frequently encouraged her grandchildren to get as much education and knowledge as possible. In Jean’s extended family, two daughters, three grandsons and one granddaughter have attended Lethbridge College. Lethbridge is our home. Lethbridge College is a part of home.”

Randy and Cheryl Jespersen, who have created the Cheryl and Randy Jespersen Award. Randy Jespersen (Business Administration ‘73) is a Lethbridge College alumnus and the current chair of the college’s Board of Governors. “Randy and I have been very fortunate in our lives and in our careers,” says Cheryl Jespersen. “We’ve always believed it has taken many supporters for us to get to where we are. We try to do the same for others.” Randy Jespersen adds: “We believe in the principle of leaving this world better than we found it. A partnership with Lethbridge College helps us to achieve that. As Cheryl said, we’ve had the good fortune of having many sponsors, mentors and cheerleaders. In a way, I guess you could say this is a form of payback.”

Glenn and Janice Varzari, who have created the Varzari Family Award. Glenn Varzari (Business Administration ‘7o) is a member of the Campaign Cabinet, member of the Lethbridge College Hall of Fame, and former chair of the Lethbridge College Board of Governors. “We give when we see there is a need and a benefit,” says Glenn Varzari. “We give when we see an opportunity that will support children, youth and families. We want to give as much as we can back to our community both with financial donations and by donating our time as volunteers,” adds Janice Varzari.
Wider Horizons
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