BMO donates $600,000 to TRU to renovate Old Main

Area housing variety of students services to be renamed BMO Student Street

Sylvie Paillard / Kamloops Daily News
January 17, 2013 01:00 AM

TRU president Alan Shaver, left, smiles along with Joanne Gassman, BMO senior vice-president, B.C. and Yukon, and Sean Armstrong, BC Interior, North and Yukon District vice-president.

The bustling Old Main building at Thompson River University now boasts BMO Student Street thanks to the largest corporation donation the university has ever received.

University officials gathered with a legion of BMO Financial Group representatives from around the province Thursday to celebrate the company's $600,000 contribution towards renovations of the Old Main building.

It's BMO Financial Group's largest ever donation in B.C. outside the Lower Mainland, said Joanne Gassman, senior vice-president, B.C. and Yukon.

And it's money well spent, she said.

"Learning makes our lives richer, our society more successful and our future much brighter."

The university and Bank of Montreal have been "strong partners" for several years, said Gassman. That was clear with the hordes of bank staff members from all over the province who travelled to the city for the announcement.

There were so many in fact, that Gassman joked, "I'm not sure who is in the branches right now."

The local branches' staff members have long been involved with TRU through committees, fundraisers and other deeds, said university president Alan Shaver.

"You have given your time and sponsorship money to supporting TRU Foundation, sports, alumni activities," said Shaver.

BMO Student Street is part of the revitalization of the Old Main building, which includes 40,000 square feet of new learning space and a new floor that will accommodate TRU's Faculty of Law.

The new floor is expected to open by September 2013.

Old Main also hosts many of TRU's student services including the registrar, student awards and financial aid, counseling, academic advising, health services and co-operative education.

"This is one area of our campus which touches each of our students," said Shaver. "Many will now begin their TRU journey on BMO Student Street."

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