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Community Campaign spells relief for many students

The generosity of Concordia faculty, staff and retirees helps support student awards and a multitude of university needs
February 27, 2012
By Scott McCulloch

When Debbie Ananga received her first Concordia bursary last year, buying textbooks and life’s essentials became much easier.

Ananga is a fortunate recipient of one of the many student awards that are funded by the Community Campaign —  an annual drive organized through Concordia’s Advancement and Alumni Relations (AAR) and numerous volunteers.

Debbie Ananga, a student in Concordia’s Human Resource Management Program. | Photo by Ryan Blau/PBL Photography
Debbie Ananga, a student in Concordia’s Human Resource Management Program. | Photo by Ryan Blau/PBL Photography

“I just couldn’t believe that I could actually get a bursary. The first thing that came to my mind was relief,” recalls Ananga, a 22-year-old student in the Human Resource Management Program who also works part-time as a fundraiser in AAR’s call centre.

Concordians helping Concordia
The Community Campaign is Concordia’s annual fundraising appeal for a variety of university needs, from student awards and academic programs to libraries and athletics. Staff, faculty and retirees are free to designate support wherever they wish.

“The campaign puts donors — you and me — in control of how, where and to whom we designate support,” says Sheelah O’Neill, a donor and a coordinator in the Department of Communication Studies. “By contributing to the Community Campaign, staff, faculty and retirees actually change lives. Debbie Ananga is one of many inspiring examples.”

Ananga has put her support towards textbooks and living costs. Her father is deceased and her mother lives in Cameroon, so she lives with her sister to reduce her monthly expenses.

“If I hadn’t received a bursary, especially last year, I would have increased my work hours and dropped a course because it was getting pretty heavy for me.”

Ananga has embraced the Community Campaign’s spirit of generosity by setting money aside for others: “When I received my bursary this year, the first thing I did was give to Concordia’s greatest needs.”

Last year, 38 per cent of the internal community donated more than $300,000 to the Community Campaign. Of that, some $46,000 derived from the Shuffle, the university’s intercampus walk-a-thon, which is considered the campaign’s de facto launch.

Receiving support from the Community Campaign has encouraged Ananga to get involved herself. “My donors’ gifts have made a difference to me. Not only has it has it helped me financially, it’s compelled me to give back.”

Listen to the podcast with Debbie Ananga:

Related links:
•    Community Campaign
•    Giving to Concordia
•    Concordia Human Resource Management Program



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