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Stober Foundation gives $1 million to UBCO for student and public health

UBC Okanagan announced a $1-million donation given by the Stober family on Thursday.
UBC Okanagan announced a $1-million donation given by the Stober family on Thursday. Global News

A $1-million donation is being given to UBC Okanagan by a local private foundation.

The donation will be used to support student scholarships, research and community health initiatives over the next five years, according to the university.

The gift comes during a pivotal period of growth for the campus and opportune timing,” UBC Okanagan staff wrote in a release.

“More than half of the generous gift will be nearly doubled by Aspire, a fundraising initiative, which will create a total of $1.9 million.”

Read more: Okanagan non-profit expands team during overdose crisis

The university said the funds will be used to create scholarships and immediate critical funding for student support.

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In addition to the donation, a $500,000 Stober Fellows Program will be formed within UBCO’s School of Health and Sciences to help “recruit the next generation of health scientists.”

“Generations of students will graduate from UBC Okanagan having been supported by the Stober family endowment—creating real, tangible difference in the community long into the future,” said Lesley Cormack, deputy vice-chancellor and principal at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

“With these new scholarship and fellowship opportunities in health, exercise science and mental health, not only will students benefit but so too will initiatives that improve the lives of so many in the Okanagan.”

Read more: Coronavirus — UBC Okanagan annual homecoming moved online

One program that will be directly benefiting from the donation is the UBC Okanagan Social Work Mental Health Clinic.

The clinic is a research, training and treatment centre that provides services to children and their families who are experiencing serious mental health issues.

A portion of the funds will provide an additional 15 student practicum placements with the potential to serve up to 75 clients and their families, according to UBCO.

“These kinds of training and learning opportunities in service to the community are the reason this partnership between UBC Okanagan and the Stober Foundation are so impactful,” said Keith Brewster, the Stober Foundation’s executive director. 

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“We have the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives and deliver quality, evidence-based research and ideas to those that need it most.”

Click to play video 'Large mural in Kelowna completed by UBC Okanagan students' Large mural in Kelowna completed by UBC Okanagan students
Large mural in Kelowna completed by UBC Okanagan students