Leaving a legacy with purpose
When Gloria McGovern (Métis, Cree/Saulteaux) added SAIT to her will, she was still a student and the youngest person to ever take that step. Two decades later, she remains committed to the decision to make a legacy gift, and she vividly recalls the events that led her to make a lifelong commitment to the institution.
Before she moved to Calgary, McGovern had worked mostly minimum wage jobs. She enrolled in SAIT to improve her career opportunities but she faced a number of challenges. As well as being financially strapped, she had a serious learning disability. She suffered from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and she recalls needing a lot of academic assistance in her effort to succeed in SAIT's Civil Engineering Technology program.
"It took me longer than other students to finish and I received a lot of tutoring to help me along the way," says McGovern. "I also received the Stuart Holland Memorial student award a number of times during my studies, and it was a big help. The award is for students who have ADD and are in need of financial help. It made it possible for me to finish the program and it's the main reason I decided to leave a legacy in my will. It cemented my decision to set up a scholarship for future students."
Paying it forward
After she graduated, McGovern worked in her industry for a number of years. She fondly recalls that she couldn't have graduated without the financial and academic support she received from SAIT.
While paying it forward was the main reason for setting up her legacy gift, an extremely tragic event during her time as a student also contributed to her decision. One of her friends, a classmate and study buddy, collapsed and died of a heart attack during a final exam.
McGovern says, "It was traumatic. I was never the same after it happened. It wasn't the reason behind my planned gift but it's one of the reasons I make sure the planned gift remains in place."
McGovern stayed in Calgary for a few years but she eventually returned to her home in B.C. where she continued her education and pursued a variety of jobs. She's currently involved in the agriculture industry, where she says she says she still applies the skills and knowledge she acquired at SAIT.
And while it has been two decades since she walked the halls of SAIT, she remains confident in her decision to make a gift to the institute. She says each time she has to renew her life insurance policy she makes sure that SAIT remains the beneficiary.