Pearls of Wisdom 2016: An Evening of Appreciation to set a new tone on May 28

Pearls of Wisdom 2016 HeaderMount Royal donors remain committed to students during economic downturnFor nearly two decades, Mount Royal University's Pearls of Wisdom has been a signature fundraising event for the institution - always garnering excitement amongst the University's many supporters from around Calgary. This fun-filled evening has a long history that has evolved year over year. One thing that remains constant, however, is the outstanding dedication of the sponsors and donors who attend annually in support of student awards and scholarships.

This year, given the economic challenges in Alberta, the 19th annual Pearls of Wisdom has changed from a traditional fundraising event into an evening of appreciation and thanks to past supporters.

"Mount Royal remains sensitive to the economic changes that have impacted us all, and our community felt that this year's event would be an appropriate time to celebrate our donors' longstanding support to the University and our students," says Stephen Shapiro, executive director of Development and Alumni Relations.

Despite the downturn, this year has yet again showcased the generosity of donors and past sponsors. The event is now sold out, with the planning committee having to find more dining space to accommodate the guest list. The event partner from the previous nine years, RBC, has stepped up to offer three scholarships for students. And in addition to the scholarships offered by RBC, gifts from donors continue to advance Mount Royal's 2025 Strategic Plan by providing more financial resources to students.

"Our supporters have remained committed to helping us provide our students with the opportunity to continue pursuing their post-secondary education through greater financial support," says Shapiro.

"We heard from many of our donors who expressed they wanted to continue supporting the event, but they were unsure as to whether they could commit to the same level of support due to the state of the economy," says Shapiro. "We wanted to make the event more accessible and create an evening that still had the Pearls of Wisdom flair, but was slightly adjusted to suit the needs of our donors."

The 19th annual Pearls of Wisdom: An Evening of Appreciation will be an opportunity for donors to meet student scholarship recipients and connect with fellow donors who care deeply about accessible education and rewarding outstanding students.

"The economic circumstances have highlighted how much MRU donors and sponsors enable us to do what we do to support our students. Their continued support means a lot to us, and we wanted to uphold our commitment to this event while emphasizing the critical role our supporters play in our students' academic success," says Shapiro.

May 25, 2016 - Jenna Reimer