Judy Jaeger has the type of job that when it's done well, it can easily be taken for granted.
As manager of caretaking at the University of Lethbridge, her day-to-day duties revolve around coordinating the 51 staff members who keep the University's campus sparkling clean. It's a role that is integral to the University's operations, but it's also the kind of position that flies under the radar, simply because it's executed so exceptionally.
In a similar way, Jaeger has been a long-time, behind-the-scenes supporter of bursaries, faithfully giving to U of L students in need, year after year. Early on in her role as manager, she recognized that many of her employees were struggling to make ends meet while going to school. She felt compelled to help them.
"Approximately 25 per cent of the staff in caretaking are students. Because of my first-hand interaction, I see how hard students have to work on a daily basis. Scholarships and bursaries make a big difference; some students couldn't afford to be here without them," she says. "If students get help with their tuition, then they can work less and spend more time focusing on their studies.
It's a message Jaeger is taking to the broader University campus in her role as co-Chair of this year's Supporting Our Students campaign. Since its inception in 2005, the annual fundraiser has seen more than 650 University faculty, staff and retirees contribute more than $1.5 million towards student scholarships and bursaries. And while it's an impressive dollar figure, Jaeger is determined to see it grow larger.
"I want to blow the other records out of the water," says Jaeger enthusiastically.
As Jaeger explains, donations need not be large to make an impact.
"All I want is five dollars a month from everyone on campus. That will be a lot of money in the end."
And while Jaeger encourages colleagues to give for the benefit of students, she also recognizes that the support ultimately has an added benefit for faculty and staff.
"If it wasn't for the students, none of us would be here," she says. "Supporting Our Students gives employees a way to support them. Here at the U of L, we really are part of a strong community where people take care of each other. We work as a great team and are doing a lot of great things by working together."
For more information about Supporting Our Students or to make a contribution, visit: www.uleth.ca/giving.