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Brett Donnelly

$10,100.00 (raised so far)

About Brett Donnelly

Born in Vancouver and raised in Kelowna, Brett graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UBC’s Vancouver campus in 2013. He died in April 2023, at the age of 33.

With a gift for words and plenty of curiosity from an early age, Brett enjoyed writing, reading and learning about the world around him. His interests and appetite for knowledge led him to UBC in 2009.

Over his years as an undergraduate student, UBC granted Brett with valuable opportunities he forever cherished. He was awarded a President’s Entrance Scholarship, the Go Global Award, and, for his research and published writing on Colombian child soldier reintegration, the United Nations Award. Alongside political science, economics and international affairs, he was passionate about languages. At UBC, he studied French and spent one summer session in Spain and another in Germany for additional language studies.

After earning his BA, Brett remained at UBC for another few years, studying accounting while holding administrative and financial roles at the university.

With his great sense of humour, Brett never wasted an opportunity to uplift and create joy in his loved ones’ lives. He was a lifelong reader and learner, and he was passionate about data science, public policy and international affairs. A devoted runner and cyclist, he completed marathons and other running races over the years. Brett had a special love for dogs, and music and language learning also played important parts in his life.

Brett loved the west coast but decided to leave for the University of Toronto in 2016 to earn a Master of Public Policy, with a focus on data-driven analysis. There, he was awarded the Cadario Scholarship, a prize given to the top students in the program. He also made positive contributions to his cohort, including service as the elected Finance Director of their student association.

In 2018, Brett moved to Ottawa to start a career in the federal public service. For five years, he held policy and data analyst roles across the government as he contributed to important work for Canadians. Keeping with his commitment to continuous learning and development, he concurrently earned a Certificate in Data Science from the University of Waterloo in 2020. At the time of his death, Brett held the role of Policy Advisor at the Privy Council Office.

While his professional interests led him to move across the country and he loved travelling around the world, Vancouver always held a particularly special place in his heart. Brett will forever be remembered by his loved ones for his intellect, kindness, wit, compassion, curiosity and thoughtful, easy manner.

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The impact of your support

To honour Brett’s life and accomplishments, his family has created the Brett Donnelly Memorial Fund. Your gift will pay tribute to Brett’s life by supporting student awards at UBC. Final decisions on student eligibility will be made in consultation with the family.

Messages of Remembrance

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  • Our deepest condolences Shelagh, Brad and Caitlin. Please know we are always here for you. Trina, we hope you hold onto your loving memories with Brett.

    Linda and Jason, Aunt and Uncle
  • The world lost a Brilliant, Athletic, Talented, Caring soul April 27th, 2023. Brett enjoyed a very full life, considering he left this world at the young age of 33. Brett will be missed by many. Rest in Peace dear Nephew. Love Aunt Linda and Uncle Jason

    Linda Walker, Aunt
List of Donors
All Donors
  • Ann Magner

  • Caitlin Donnelly

  • Uncle Bill

  • Brett Donnelly fan club

  • Brian

  • Carly & Steve

  • Brett's colleagues at the Privy Council Office

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Stephanie Walker

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Anonymous Donation

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