It's not uncommon for individuals and organizations to come forward to support the University of Lethbridge, but how does a gently-used 1984 BMW 325e fit into the student scholarship picture?
The answer is 'perfectly,' if the car – which is in fact named "Michael Nolan" – belongs to U of L president Bill Cade and is being given to the Students' Union as a gift to raffle off in support of a student scholarship fund.
Tickets are $5 each or three for $12. There are only a few of the 2300 available tickets still left for sale, and the draw date is Friday, Apr. 16.
"Over the past few months we've been messing with people's heads by creating this fictional character called Michael Nolan and promoting an online personality," says SU President Jeremy Girard.
"The reactions have been hilarious, with people being sincerely confused. Once they found out Michael Nolan was actually Bill's BMW 325e, they were really amused and have become firm supporters of the campaign."
The car, which Cade bought brand new, is named Michael Nolan after a distant family member (his mother's uncle) who at one time provided a trust/scholarship fund for Cade's mother. At the launch of the campaign on Monday, Feb. 22, Cade said that he had a lot of good experiences in the car, and was looking forward to turning it back to the students.
"I also got a lot of tickets."
Check out this video where Cade describes his relationship with the vehicle.
Indeed, the car is quick for its age, and was one of the first years BMW placed a larger 6-cylinder engine in its 3-series vehicles, giving them a lot of speed for their size.
It also comes with a five-speed standard transmission, leather seating, a sunroof, air conditioning and cast aluminum wheels all on a sporty, two-door frame.
Michael Nolan has been recently safetied, tuned up, and has newer tires. Currently the odometer reads 190,000km, or only 7,300km per year, on average.
"We want to thank President Cade for his donation of his BMW 325e to the University for the students to raffle off to raise money for student scholarships," Girard says.
"President Cade's generous contribution to the Win Michael Nolan campaign has enabled us to set a target of $10,000 raised for scholarships. I also want to thank all of the volunteers who are really the driving force behind this scholarship initiative."
Donating Michael Nolan back to the students is not the only charitable activity Bill and Elsa Cade have engaged in since joining the University in 2000. They have supported numerous other scholarships, bought books for the library, and engaged in a host of philanthropic activities that have seen their cumulative support to the University reach $100,000.
Tickets are on sale from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Students' Union office (SU180), the Advancement Office in University Hall (A735) and the SU Service Center in the SU Building.