UFV Town & Gown Fundraising Dinner

Changing students' lives through scholarships and bursaries

Town met Gown at the University of the Fraser Valley’s second annual fundraising dinner on November 9, 2016. More than 250 people gathered in the Student Union Building on UFV’s Abbotsford campus at a sold-out event to celebrate student success and hear about how the support of donors helps UFV students. Read the full story.


UFV President Mark Evered thanked guests, many of whom have supported UFV over the years, for investing in the university.

“We have built this great university on the vision of our community. We saw not only the educational opportunities for ourselves and our families, but the ways in which a local university would enrich us all — changing lives, and building community. It is that vision that continues to guide us today.”

The evening featured UFV’s two 2016 Distinguished Alumni award winners.

The Distinguished Alumni winner is Gary Bass, a former high-ranking RCMP officer who earned his MA in Criminal Justice while balancing the demands of his career.

The Distinguished Young Alumni winner is Shannon Thiesen, an Abbotsford elementary school teacher and award-winning artist. She recalled the support she received from her professors and from donors.

Dr. Malwinder Dhami, an Abbotsford dentist and longtime UFV supporter and donor, also spoke at Town and Gown, announcing that he is funding three new bursaries: one to support the Dental Assistant program and two to support language studies (in Punjabi and in Halq’eméylem, the language of the Sto:lo people).

Proceeds from the Town & Gown event go to UFV’s Changing Lives, Building Community Endowment — supporting scholarships for students who demonstrate superior scholastic achievement, leadership, and commitment to the community. And this year, the net total after expenses was slightly more than $132,000.

Student speaker and award recipient Sahil Chawla talked about how the support provided by scholarships and bursaries allows him to fully engage in campus activities.

He’s a full-time UFV science student, majoring in biology and chemistry. He’s a student politician, serving as the Faculty of Science rep on the Student Union Society and an elected student rep on the UFV Senate. He’s a UFV Student Life Ambassador, leading campus tours, and a Supported Learning Group leader, and also president of the UFV Circle K club.

Chawla, who hopes to go to medical school, has benefited from the support of UFV donors as the recipient of the Student Union Society Premier Entrance Scholarship and the Indo-Canadian Pioneers Endowment Leadership Award.

“I am so grateful for the financial support of donors to UFV. Because of the financial burden being lifted through the funding I have received, I have been able to be involved on campus and give back to my university. And these experiences have given me so many chances to grow. I plan to give back throughout my life and career,” he said.

Bursaries and scholarships help students from all walks of life achieve their dreams. UFV student Randi shares how funding she received from the Faculty and Staff Bursary has helped her succeed in school. As a Social Work student, she hopes to make a difference by helping others in her community when she graduates. Watch her story below.

Special thanks to the sponsors of our 2016 event

The presenting sponsor for Town and Gown was Prospera Credit Union. Platinum sponsors were the Abbotsford International Airport and MNP. Gold sponsors were BMO, Chernoff Thompson Architects, and The Co-operators; silver sponsors were Quantum Properties, Esposito Group, Impark, Emil Anderson Construction; and bronze sponsors were Aldergrove Credit Union, Manulife, Minter Country Gardens, RDM Lawyers and Sevenoaks Shopping Centre. Special thanks to Save-on Foods. Media sponsors were The Abbotsford News, Chilliwack Progress, and Punjabi Patrika.

Save-the-date! UFV’s third annual Town & Gown fundraising dinner takes place on Nov 15, 2017.

This will be an inspiring evening, an opportunity to see first hand how UFV is having a positive impact on our community and in the lives of students.

The dinner will be held in the beautiful brand-new Student Union Building, an important community meeting space for our students. The evening will also feature our two Distinguished Alumni Award winners and a limited number of silent auction items.

Proceeds contribute to UFV’s Changing Lives, Building Community Endowment — supporting scholarships for students who demonstrate superior scholastic achievement, leadership, and commitment to the community.

Who’s in the Room

UFV’s Town & Gown Fundraising Dinner represents one of UFV’s largest community events, accommodating over 250 attendees. They include a mix of:

  • influential entrepreneurs, business professionals, and government leaders
  • representatives of membership-based associations and service organizations
  • university faculty, staff, and students.

Event Highlights

  • Words of thanks from a student who has benefited from the generous support of donors like you
  • A personal message of thanks from Dr. Mark Evered, UFV President and Vice-Chancellor
  • Gourmet dinner in the state-of-the-art Student Union Building on the Abbotsford campus
  • Engaging conversations with influential business leaders from across the Valley
  • Inspirational stories of UFV’s Distinguished Alumni Award Winners
  • Limited silent auction of unique items and experiences


Sponsorship Opportunities

UFV’s Town & Gown Fundraising dinner provides a unique opportunity for sponsorship with a dynamic and influential network of UFV stakeholders — including students, community leaders, and alumni — in an evening of celebration focused on how UFV transforms student lives and builds our community.
Learn more

For additional information about sponsorship, please contact Sheila Reimer:

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See you Nov. 8, 2017

Support students by attending UFV's second annual Town & Gown Fundraising Dinner!

View 2016 Town & Gown photos