David Turpin and Suromitra Sanatani Award for Refugees and Displaced Persons


Honouring the U of A’s 13th President

While serving as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Alberta from 2015 to 2020, David H. Turpin and his wife Suromitra Sanatani were dedicated to building a better province, a better Canada and a better world.

To thank them for sharing their commitment, purpose, time and energy for the public good, the university has renamed a significant student award in their honour.

The David Turpin and Suromitra Sanatani Award for Refugees and Displaced Persons provides financial assistance to students fleeing civil war, persecution or other life-threatening situations.

Join us in honouring David and Suromitra by contributing to this scholarship. Your gift will help ensure the award can be given annually to a student who is seeking a better life.

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“We can never forget that our community — and indeed our country — have been built, in part, on wave after wave of immigrant refugees from around the world who found themselves displaced from their homelands.”  David H. Turpin, 13th U of A president

A Global Tragedy

Millions of people from countries around the world are fleeing their homes to escape unstable situations in their homelands. According to the United Nations, the world is now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record.

The David Turpin and Suromitra Sanatani Award for Refugees and Displaced Persons will cover the cost of tuition and two years' living expenses for up to five eligible undergraduate or graduate students admitted to the U of A.

Originally established in 2015 to support Syrian refugees, the award has helped 32 students find a better life.

Your donation will help the university change the lives of students fleeing unstable and dangerous situations in countries around the world.

“You didn't just change my life. You changed the life of my spouse. You changed the lives of my future children. I will tell them my story and how people like you made all the difference.”
Bashar Aldyab, award recipient

The Award in Action

Aref Sayegh

1 refugee scholarship. 7 days. Lives changed

Only one week after arriving in Canada on a scholarship for displaced persons, Aref Sayegh jumps in to help others

Fadumo Isse, left, poses with Ella Elazkany, right

From Newcomer to Volunteer

Ella Elazkany, recipient of the President's Award for Refugees and Displaced Persons, explains how she was inspired to help incoming students

Giving Theme

Culture & Society

Ways to Give

Memorial/Tribute Gifts, Charitable Gift Annuities