Roland and Anne Neeve have topped up a pair of bursaries they provide to Clearwater Secondary students who plan to attend Thompson Rivers University (TRU) each year to help students financially impacted by the Vavenby mill closure. Pictured, the Neeves donate a cheque to TRU to help build up endowments: (L-r) Roland Neave, Anne Neave, Karen Gamracy, TRU Foundation, Jeff Sodowsky, vice president of advancement at TRU. Photo submitted

Bursaries offered to students affected by mill closure

Financial aid offered for one student pursuing academics and one for trades

With the financial hit the Clearwater community has taken in the wake Canfor’s mill closure in Vavenby, it’s possible students heading to post-secondary in the fall will have yet another monetary hurdle while trying to continue their studies.

With this in mind, Roland and Anne Neave decided to top up a pair of entrance bursaries they provide to local students who plan to study at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) each year.

Two years ago the Neaves set up the Charles and Jean Whittaker Endowment, named for Anne’s parents, and since then have donated $70,000 to the TRU Foundation to support two annual bursaries in perpetuity.

“With the closure of the Canfor mill, it is possible that financial hardship may prevent some students from entering TRU this fall, and we are very concerned about such a setback in their education,” said Roland.

“We met with the foundation last week and offered a top-up to the 2019 bursaries; there will now be two entrance bursaries of $3,000 each provided for students starting their TRU studies in September.”

Neaves set up bursary for CSS grads

One bursary will be for a student entering the trades and the other for academic studies, which without the top-up would have been worth $2,800.

The Neaves asked TRU to try and find two students experiencing financial hardship due to the Canfor closure and the students will have to fill out a general bursary application that’ll be available online from Aug. 1 to Sept. 20.

When the students fill out the general bursary application, various financial need questions will be asked to help the awards office select the best candidates and students should indicate in the application if they are experiencing financial hardship due to the Canfor closure.

The original bursaries were set up for Clearwater students because Neave recognized the extra expenses students face when attending university from out of town.

“I think it’s costing, for an out of town student, somewhere in the order of $10,000 a year to go to university now; it’s a fair amount of money. The tuition alone I think is $4,000 or so,” he said.

“We hope that there are some students who qualify for these bursaries and it’ll help them get into TRU because we’re certainly happy to help students.”

Anyone who might be eligible for the Charles and Jean Whittaker Endowment is encouraged to visit

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