Thompson Rivers University

TRU receives unexpected $350K donation

  Posted on: September 29, 2020

KAMLOOPS– Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has received a donation of $350,000 after a Lillooet man left his estate to the university foundation. James Bain of Lillooet passed away in 2019, naming the TRU Foundation as the sole beneficiary in his will. The estate has created an endowment that will fund at least 12 annual bursaries for students in the Faculty of Science.

The TRU Foundation 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. Student support is one of the Limitless campaign priorities.

“This was a significant gift the TRU Foundation had not anticipated,” said Greg Garrish, TRU Foundation past president.

“Not only was it a surprise, but it 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.”

Bain gave no indication to the university that he was planning to leave such an important gift. 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 underrepresented in these fields,” said Catherine Tatarniuk, assistant teaching professor in the 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 in 2021—and every year thereafter.

“It’s important for us to give current and future students the opportunity to become skilled in the techniques and approaches required for career success,” said Faculty of Science Dean Greg Anderson. “To do that, we need to make education accessible. Donors play a key role in funding awards that make education more affordable.”

Garrish said the TRU Foundation is grateful to Bain’s family and friends for helping the university understand how to honour his intentions. Had the university been aware of Bain’s wishes before his passing, the foundation would have been able to thank him directly.

Planned giving or legacy giving is when a donor leaves a charitable gift in a will. TRU works closely with donors to establish meaningful ways to leave a legacy. For more information on legacy giving and TRU’s Limitless campaign, visit

Media Relations & Communications

Michele Young

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