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‘It makes an incredible difference’

March 27, 2014 — 

Phys-ed student Chris Thiessen, a recipient of several bursaries, wants donors to know just how much these financial awards matter.

“(Donors) may not necessarily know it, but it makes an incredible difference,” he says.

The university’s faculty, staff and retirees campaign runs throughout March. Every year, members of our community support our students by making a gift to an area of their choice.

Donating to student awards helps create a domino effect, explains Thiessen.

“When you start to receive them, it gives you that time, and that time is what gives you the ability to focus on your studies. And then when you have that ability to focus on your studies, you get the grades, which then in turn qualifies you to get the student awards again,” he says. “So, it’s a cycle.”

The financial support also reduces stress and frees up more time to get involved with campus activities, making for a better student experience.

“There’s a certain level of stress that every student has. You have deadlines with all sorts of things. And when you don’t have that time to dedicate (to studying) because you’re working, I think your stress level starts to increase and you start to block out all of the other things that are possible on campus,” says Thiessen, who is senior stick of the Students Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation Studies. “(Receiving bursaries) allowed me to get involved with student politics and more school spirit around the university.”

For Thiessen this included becoming a member of the Big Horns, a lively student group that gets the crowds excited at Bison games. “It’s been an amazing experience for me personally,” he says.

>>Watch this video to see how your gift shapes our students.

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