Vanlee Robblee, '01 BDes, holds a picture of her late brother, Evan Tran
When a friend or family member passes on, we want memories of them to stay alive. Ensure a fitting and lasting legacy by making a memorial gift in their honour. Your gift can support students, research or another area of the university.
Tribute gifts mark special occasions at any stage of life: graduations, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries or retirement.
When a memorial or tribute gift is made, the university sends a card in your name, or anonymously, to the family or honouree. Your name and address are shared, but the amount of your donation is not revealed.
When Evan Tran, a 21-year-old UAlberta science student, died by suicide in October 2015, his family shared his story. They opened a conversation about mental illness to encourage people suffering from it to reach out to loved ones — and vice versa — before it’s too late.
“If there was a possibility that something good could come of this tragedy, we wanted to take it,” says Tran’s sister, Vanlee Robblee, ‘01 BDes.
The Tran family also asked that mourners donate to UAlberta’s Student Mental Health Fund in Evan’s memory. The family led by example and made a substantial memorial gift. Evan was connected to a wide network of people through campus volunteerism, acting, snowboarding and video games. His friends held a fundraiser and donations made in his name gave a significant boost to the Student Mental Health Fund.
Honouring Evan’s memory by supporting the Student Mental Health Fund comforts Robblee, her sister Angela Tran and their parents Lulu and Lam Tran. Their hope is that, in addition to raising awareness, gifts in Evan’s name will help identify students in need of support, and maybe prevent another tragedy.