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Why Give | Impact stories

Supporting the well-being of the UBC Okanagan community for generations to come

With the physical and mental well-being of UBC Okanagan students and the community top of mind, the Stober Family has donated $1 million to support student scholarships, research and community health initiatives over the next five years. And it's already having an impact.

June 22, 2021

Ken Stober, Linda Stober, Matt Hauge and...
Ken Stober, Linda Stober, Matt Hauge and Keith Brewster from the Stober Foundation along with David McAnerney and Dave Henwood from the Stober Group meet with UBC Okanagan Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Lesley Cormack (centre).

“The pandemic had taken a tremendous toll on my mental health, “says Vanessa White, a recipient of the Stober Foundation Graduate Entrance Award in Chemistry. “To receive such a prestigious award validates my research and fills me with a new sense of purpose. I have dedicated my life to my education in hopes I can contribute something to the world — and scientific community — I can be proud of.”

The Stober Foundation was also there for Human Kinetics student Julianne Keyes when she needed it most.

“As I will eventually be living away from home while attending UBCO, expenses will be high,” says Julianne. “Due to chronic illness, my doctors advise a limited schedule, so I am often unable to work during the school months. With this scholarship, I will be better able to focus on my health and succeeding in my studies. I am extremely thankful and honoured to receive it.”

When Keith Brewster, executive director of the Stober Foundation, hears testimonials like Vanessa’s and Julianne’s, he knows the Stober Foundation is having an impact.

“We have the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives and deliver quality, evidence-based research and ideas to those that need it most,” says Brewster. “I hope the scholarships and awards we create today will foster excellence in health research and support the well-being of our community for many years to come.”

This generational approach to philanthropy is something the Stober family is committed to since Sandra Stober and her late husband Albert started the foundation over thirty years ago. The Stober Foundation is dedicated to the long view — supporting charitable initiatives worldwide while staying true to the Okanagan community. Professor Lesley Cormack, deputy vice-chancellor and principal at UBC Okanagan, knows their philanthropy will have a ripple effect for years to come.

“Generations of students will graduate from UBC Okanagan having been supported by the Stober family endowment,” says Professor Cormack, “creating a real, tangible difference in the community long into the future.”

In response to their support, Julianne Keyes has these words for the Stober family.

“Thank you again for establishing this award. I am extremely thankful and honoured to receive it,” says Julianne. “I hope that one day I will have a chance to help others, as you have helped me.”