A gift that will last forever

26 May 2022

"When we met the first recipients of our University of Alberta scholarships, just hearing them talk about how the scholarship took away their worry was amazing.”

Through gifts of endowments, supporters like Jody and Ken Peck can meet the recipients of their scholarships each year.

“It’s exciting to hear what these students are learning and knowing the impact they will have on the world motivates us. We feel we are paying it forward through our gifts,” says Jody.

She and her husband Ken decided that along with a gift in their Will they wanted to see the impact of their gifts now. So, they set up their endowed scholarships last year.

They both have roots in rural Alberta and were the first in their extended families to go to University. Jody graduated from the Faculty of Business in ’88, Ken graduated from the Faculty of Education in ’93, and he also received a Masters of Arts and Communication and Technology in ’03.

Both have fond memories of their time at the U of A, but they also remember how difficult it can be to support yourself while in school.

While Jody’s family was supportive of the idea of going to university, they weren’t able to provide a lot of financial support. But she received a scholarship in her first year, worked and took out a loan to complete school. She wants her gifts to help relieve some of the financial burdens for future students.

“I knew nothing about endowments until I spoke to the team at the U of A. It’s a sum of money that lasts forever and will mean so much to future students. When you think of in perpetuity, if there are four scholarships each year for 50 years, that’s 200 students helped over 50 years. The thought of this was compelling to us,” Jody says.

Jody and Ken want their scholarships to give current and future students more time to focus on schoolwork. And time for clubs and leadership activities that will benefit their education and future careers.

“After having reached a certain stage in career and life, and after achieving success professionally, we felt we wanted to support others who are starting their journeys.”

The Bauer Maxfield Scholarship is named after Jody’s grandmothers. It will support students in the Faculty of Business. “They were both hardworking people. My Gramma (Julie Bauer) had six kids on the farm and worked hard her entire life. She also became a practical nurse after her husband passed away. My other grandmother, Nan (Ida Maxfield), emigrated from England in the 1950s. She worked three jobs at a time seven days a week to support the family after her husband passed away.”

And the Mary Peck Scholarship was named after Ken’s mother, who taught for many years in the Darwell area west of Edmonton. This scholarship will support students in the Faculty of Education. Mary taught many students over several decades, including in a one-room schoolhouse, and she was deeply respected in the community. Her career inspired Ken to go into education himself.

“We want our scholarships to help students from rural communities – who may otherwise not have the same resources or opportunities as others.”

With our supporters, the U of A is building the university of tomorrow for students, researchers and educators to pursue their purpose. Together, we are change-makers, community builders and world shapers. If you are interested in learning more about the different ways you can help, please contact our Planned Giving team. They are here to help and answer questions. You can reach Kathy Fitzgerald at 780-492-2616 or kathy.fitzgerald@ualberta.ca or Hilary Fabrizio at 780-996-7808 or hilary.fabrizio@ualberta.ca.