Putting students first

Robin Bright (BEd '82, MEd '88) and Tom Doyle (BSc '93) are proud to be Co-Chairs of Supporting Our Students (SOS) 2011/12. Although they admit they don't have much in the way of fundraising experience, they have come together to set an example and lead the charge for faculty and staff giving at the University of Lethbridge.

"I'll ask anyone for money," laughs Bright, adding that it has to be for a good cause. Doyle is not quite so bold, but he is similarly committed to the campaign.

"SOS is something I can get behind because I feel strongly about it," says Doyle, who benefitted from scholarships when he was a U of L student. "There are lots of students here who are very driven but are financially strapped. I know what that's like and I'm passionate about supporting those individuals."

SOS Chairs
Tom Doyle, left, and Robin Bright are the SOS Co-Chairs for 2011/12.

While support is often measured in dollars, Bright and Doyle want to emphasize that the success of this year's campaign will be measured by the number of donors, rather than the size of the gifts.

"The SOS campaign is about people," explains Bright, who truly values the personal connections she's made during her time at the U of L. "It's about faculty and staff from across campus coming together to help create a positive learning environment and make students feel welcome."

Both Bright and Doyle feel this is something faculty and staff do already through their work on campus. The SOS campaign is just another way to show students they are part of a campus community that cares.

"The SOS campaign demonstrates that U of L faculty and staff are not just doing a job – they are truly engaged and supportive of the students here," says Doyle.

Since its launch in 2005, faculty and staff have shown their support by donating more than one million dollars to SOS. Bright and Doyle hope this is just the beginning and are looking for faculty and staff support again this year.

"I want to keep reminding myself that I'm here because of the students who choose to study at the U of L," says Bright, reflecting on her own reasons for giving. "I'm grateful to be in a position to give back to my university and support the students who make that choice."

"When you stop and think about how your contribution can impact the life of even one student, it can be very humbling," adds Doyle. "I want to encourage other faculty and staff members to think about the difference their contribution could make on someone's education and potentially their life."

Watch your mailbox for more information on Supporting Our Students 2011/12. In the meantime, visit or call 403-329-2582 for more information or to make a donation.