A very different year

Eliza's chosen place to study, with a view of the Squamish mountains
These days students are taking most of their classes online. Student Eliza Wilson has chosen to stay in her hometown of Squamish this semester.

Every September scores of thank you letters from student award recipients arrive at the Donor Relations office for us to forward to donors. For new and returning students alike, the 2020 Fall term is a very different experience from previous years. However, one thing remains the same. Donors like you are helping students pursue their goals and achieve academic success.

These four extracts from letters highlight the struggles students are facing and the positive attitude they bring to their current situations.

Mary Benoit
Mary's textbooks are propped against a mirror that doubles as her to-do list

First-year student Mary Benoit, who received the Dean of Science Entrance Scholarship for Indigenous Students, had been excited to return to the beautiful campus after visiting for an internship. Instead she will be experiencing UVic virtually for the first semester.

This award will help me afford a new computer for school which I dearly needed for the upcoming online semester. I am very excited to start courses at UVic. I hope that once campus life returns to normal, I will be able to participate in face to face learning and labs, as this is the way I learn best. Thank you very much for supporting my education. - Mary
Award recipients
Eliza, Hannah and Miriam

Hannah Stanley, who is entering UVic Law as the recipient of the Nash Johnston LLP Entrance Scholarship, reminds us we have choice in how we perceive this altered situation.

When choosing a law school, I knew UVic was the perfect fit for me—the smaller class sizes, opportunities for law co-op, and the school’s dedication to equitable and diverse law education made UVic my top choice.

Although, due to the pandemic, my first year is going to look very different from what I had imagined, and from what any other law students have experienced thus far, I have decided to see it as an opportunity to show my perseverance, rather than as a detriment.

The pandemic has definitely come with financial stresses and your generous award has helped to ease that burden for me. Thank you. Donors like you are vital to the success of future lawyers like myself. - Hannah
Hannah's study space is a cosy shed in her backyard

Theatre student Miriam Dumitra was awarded the W.D. West Alumni Scholarship this year for academic excellence. She highlights the variety of “behind the scenes” courses she is taking online.

This scholarship enables me to continue studying at the University of Victoria without worrying about financial needs on top of the coursework. I'm particularly grateful to have been considered for a scholarship based on academics, as I pride myself on working hard to achieve high grades in this program.

This year will be my third year at UVic's Phoenix Theatre, and though I'm sure things will feel quite different due to the pandemic, I'm excited for a few new opportunities. In particular, I have high hopes for THEA 305, a course that will delve into some of the technical aspects of theatre, like programming consoles and drafting lighting plots. My interest in a multidisciplinary theatre approach has also led me to take courses from other departments such as Playwriting, Sound Recording Techniques, and Anthropology of Sound.

I am also involved in the Student Alternative Theatre Company (SATCo), formerly as the Technical Director, and now as the Assistant General Manager. We are hoping to continue our tradition of student-led productions this fall by putting on a series of radio plays in lieu of in-person productions. - Miriam
Miriam's screen
Miriam works in a program called Reaper for her Technical Theatre class

Eliza Wilson, who received the Iola Worthington Scholarship in Business, is going to make the most of doing a semester while living in Squamish, BC.

Moving forward into my third year, I am extremely excited to dive deeper into the business material. In the midst of COVID-19, this year will surely be like none other and I am curious to see the changes, challenges, and lessons this upcoming year has in store.

I am from Squamish and will be doing classes remotely from there this fall, but I will miss Victoria's sunshine. On the other hand, I am excited to be so close to the water and the mountains getting the opportunity to ski, boat, bike, and more throughout the school year.

As I complete my studies at the University of Victoria, I am unmeasurably grateful for your gift and inspired by your generosity. I hope to help students achieve their goals just as you’ve supported me. - Eliza

Every student has a different story, and every year their letters show gratitude towards donors who support their academic journeys. Viewed that way, this year isn’t any different than other years, except to say that your generosity is more appreciated than ever!