Trent University announced today more than $35,000 raised in support of the World University Service of Canada Student Refugee Program (WUSC SRP) and that the first Syrian refugee student will arrive at Trent as early as January 2016.
The #TrentUHelps campaign started in September in response to the overwhelming concern expressed throughout the Trent University community over the plight of an historic wave of refugees seeking refuge from war and strife in Syria and Northern Africa.
The impressive fundraising total, in support of Trent’s commitment to refugee students through WUSC SRP, was announced today by Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University, joined by the Honourable Maryam Monsef ’03, Minister of Democratic Institutions and MP for Peterborough-Kawartha, who returned to Trent, her alma matter, to celebrate the contributions and generosity of the Trent community.
“On the eve of Giving Tuesday across North America and around the world, I think this is a wonderful demonstration of giving back,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “When we launched this campaign in September, the response was overwhelming. Trent has a long-standing history of supporting students and the generous contribution we’ve seen for the Trent/WUSC Student Refugee Program has been no different.”
Minister Monsef said: "I am so proud to be part of this welcoming community that continues to demonstrate a culture of generosity and inclusion. It is through the work of institutions like Trent University and programs like the World University Service of Canada Student Refugee Programs that we can help ensure more young people are able to further their education and enrich our communities.”
“This is just a small part of Peterborough’s efforts to welcome refugee families to our community,” added Dr. Mike Allcott, director of the Trent International Program. “As a partner in those broader efforts, Trent looks forward to offering our expertise and experience in building sustainable lives and livelihoods for what will be a significant addition to our region.”
The $35,000 raised in gifts and pledges for the #TrentUHelps campaign includes contributions from friends of the University including all three unions at Trent – the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU 365), Trent University Faculty Association (TUFA), and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE Local 3908), who collectively donated $8,000 to the cause. The funds raised will help Trent to sponsor a total of four new refugee students who have been identified by the WUSC SRP in the next year.
Trent University has a long-standing tradition of providing a welcoming home and rich educational environment to refugees from all over the world and has been sponsoring one student per year through the WUSC SRP since 1983. Donations to the Trent/WUSC initiative can be made securely online at https://mycommunity.trentu.ca/give-now or by cheque made out to Trent University (indicating WUSC Refugee Trust Fund in the memo section).