As a primary school teacher whose family has lived in the Durham area for generations, Carol Gifford has dedicated her career to guiding Durham students, preparing them for their future and encouraging their dreams. Now retired from the classroom, she plans to continue making a difference in the lives of local students, and strengthening the Gifford family legacy in the Durham Region, through the Carol Rae and Garry Lloyd Gifford Award at Durham College (DC).
“I was the first of my generation to attend post-secondary education and earn a degree, so I understand the barriers that exist that keep students from pursuing education past high school,” said Carol. “I want all families from any socioeconomic background to feel that education is attainable – and having financial support can help them reach that goal.”
Named in memory of her late brother Garry, the award will be established through a future gift in her will. By endowing her gift, the awards will be distributed annually on an on-going basis, making post-secondary education more easily accessible for students from any of the college’s programs who demonstrate financial need.
“When students have less financial stress, they spend fewer hours working a part-time job or worried about money and more time focused on their studies,” Carol remarked. “This kind of support not only has a positive effect on a student’s success, career and independence, but also encourages a mentality that sees learning as important, which will continue to trickle down to future generations.”
Although Carol isn’t a DC alumna herself, she felt strongly about supporting students in the community that she and her family have lived, worked and thrived. She also plans to leave awards to students at Ontario Tech University, and her alma maters Trent University and the University of Toronto, ensuring as many students as possible can make the dream of pursuing a diploma or degree a reality.
“It’s important that education and service to our community be the Gifford legacy,” says Carol. “I hope this gift will continue to benefit students at DC for many years to come.”
If you would like more information on how to support the student experience at DC through your own estate planning, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.