Friday, April 29, 2011

SFU: the view from the hill is fine

Should I go? After a long tiring work day. But I had sent in my RSVP. Besides, this event was special.

I'd been invited to a Donor reception at the Diamond Alumni Centre at Simon Fraser University. I couldn't afford a lot, but I did promise to give a little every month, and SFU appreciated the commitment.

As I drove up the mountain around six, it poured rain. At the top the rain turned to hail. I parked where I'd been told to, pulled my coat around me and dashed through the freezing storm.

The speeches were already underway. The new President, Andrew Petter, spoke, as did the Vice President and others. After that a letter was read from a donor who has remembered SFU in her will, and then two scholarship students spoke.

It was inspiring to hear their enthusiasm and accomplishments. After the speeches, we mingled and conversed. The three students I met were full of razor sharp intelligence, hope and plans.

It was an uplifting evening in more ways than one. Remembering the scholarships that helped me through school, I was reminded by one speaker that such awards represent not only welcome material help, but moral support: a vote of confidence in the recipient.

As I was leaving, the sun came out and flooded the trees and the university buildings with strong warm light. Education, I thought, is never wasted. The view from the mountain has never looked so good.

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