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Bank finances programs and studies in environmental development

TD Bank Group presented three quarters of a million dollars to the University of Ottawa on Sept. 10.

$500,000 will go into TD Green Bursaries, a program dedicated to financing students interested in studying and improving the environment. The rest will be invested in a campus program, the Centre for Global and Community Engagement’s Environmental Leadership Program,  dedicated to supporting the environmental leaders of tomorrow.

“TD believes in a sustainable future and the only way to create a sustainable future is to make sure that our environment is healthy and that we are functioning properly,” said Debra Armstrong, senior vice-president of TD Bank Group. “It is a pioneer in green buildings and support to green projects.”

“There is no better way to invest in the future than to invest where it is most impactful, and that is in the leaders of today and the leaders of tomorrow,” she said.

TD Bank Group has been supporting environmentally engaged students at the U of O since 2004 and has given a total of 50 bursaries to students. One of those recipients is Annalise Mathers, a third-year student in biomedical sciences.

“It was huge, it really set off my whole year,” said Mathers. “I was notified in first semester [of 2012] and that really opened up a lot of possibilities for the rest of the year.  I am so honoured to have gotten the award, and it has allowed me to think into the future, planning future events based on the scholarship support.”

Mathers said she hopes to pursue international medicine and work for Doctors without Borders. She said the money awarded to her will help her to focus on academics without having to get a part-time job.

The U of O administration is pleased that corporations like TD Bank Group are supporting students engaged in initiatives like the environment.

“From the university standpoint, it is a key priority,” said Louis de Melo, vice-president of external relations for the U of O.

“I think it shows that banks are very philanthropic,” he said. “It also shows the need that universities have to diversify their sources of revenue, as the government funding has limited their capacity, and we have aimed to put a limit on student fees as well.  The third source of revenue is donations, and this has been stepped up in recent years.”

“TD’s goal, like our goal, is to improve the quality of the student experience, and that is what I like about this award, is that it is all about the students,” said de Melo.

The TD Green Bursary awards students with a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of 50 per cent of their tuition.