Cecelia Dirksen, assistant to the UFV Dean of Arts, was surprised to find out that she has donated to UFV a total of 260 times over the past eight years, mostly through payroll deduction.
“I hardly notice the payroll donations,” she adds.
Cecelia has a unique approach to her gift giving as she specifically chooses to top up funds that are close to reaching the endowed level — an amount that allows a scholarship or bursary to be awarded annually in perpetuity. She has helped to bring three bursaries to this level and is now working on her fourth. She feels this is a great way to get more bang for her buck and encourages others to consider following suit.
“An endowed fund means that it will be supporting different students for many decades to come, so I like to help those funds reach endowed status,” she notes.
Cecelia appreciates the power of education to transform lives.
“Education can lift a whole family out of poverty but it tends to get put on the backburner if there isn’t the funding to achieve it.”
As she and her husband Lorin both enjoy full time jobs at UFV, Cecelia is happy to be in a position to help.
“What motivates me is that we have so much. Giving back is a way of appreciating what we have. Giving a little at a time isn’t hard. I don’t even miss it. Giving enriches and brings meaning to our lives.”
Cecelia has worked at UFV full time for nine years. Before that, she attended UFV as a Library and Information Tech student, eventually earning both her LibIT diploma and her Bachelor of Adult Education degree. Even as a new alumna, she was involved in raising funds for a LibIT bursary and says that she especially enjoyed setting up a ‘matching funds’ donation challenge in 2011.
“It was easy,” she says, “Anyone can do it. It doesn’t have to be a large amount and the enthusiasm and energy it creates is a wonderful bonus in addition to the ultimate goal of helping deserving students.”
Cecelia is a proud UFV alumna and employee, and very happy to be doing work that is meaningful and life-changing for students.
“This isn’t just a place to earn a paycheque. It’s a worthwhile place to earn a living while creating a better world for our community and future generations.”