A deceased Lillooet man who named Thompson Rivers University as his sole beneficiary has the post-secondary institution setting up an endowment fund.
James Bain, who died in 2019, donated $350,000 to the TRU Foundation, which will fund at least 12 annual bursaries for female students in the Faculty of Science.
The foundation has spent the last year administering the estate.
“Bain’s generosity will have a deep impact on students for generations to come and the donation supports TRU’s Limitless campaign to raise $50 million alongside the university’s 50th anniversary this year,” the university stated in a press release.
Greg Garrish, TRU Foundation past-president, said the gift came as a surprise, but couldn’t have come at a more crucial time.
“If only Mr. Bain had known how profound his gesture would be. We are honoured to establish this legacy in his name,” Garrish said.
According to the university, Bain gave no indication he was planning to leave the sum and his only stated desire was for his estate to fund bursaries for women in science. Bursaries are given to students who demonstrate financial need.
“Women are doing great things in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics/computer science], but we are still under-represented in these fields,” said Catherine Tatarniuk, assistant teaching professor in the university’s department of engineering and applied science. “I believe grants, scholarships and awards specifically for women are the best way to guarantee more women pursue careers in STEM.”
The endowment will be invested and the Bain awards will be awarded to students for the first time beginning in 2021.