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Sustaining the student experience

September 8, 2015

Sustaining the student experience
Ryan Dunn, BA’06, makes monthly donations to Western to give back to the university that gave him so much.

Ryan Dunn, BA’06, always knew he wanted to give back to Western, a place he credits for helping him develop and grow into the person he is today.

Those thoughts turned into action when he received a call from a Western student asking him if he would consider giving back to his alma mater.

For the 33-year-old alumnus, who was president of the University Students’ Council (USC) in 2005 and 2006, a small but ongoing monthly gift turned out to be the perfect vehicle to provide current Western students with the same extraordinary experiences he feels fortunate to have benefited from as a student.

“It really is the best undergraduate experience in Canada. Western made a huge impact on my life and I always reminisce fondly about my time there,” says Ryan, who currently works in Toronto as a regulatory affairs manager with Fidelity Investments Canada. “When the phone call came, it was the perfect trigger to give back to an institution that gave me so much.”

One of his fondest memories included taking in a holiday concert performed by Western Music students at Talbot College. It’s for this reason – and an admiration for the passion and enthusiasm of Western’s music students – that he gives half his monthly donation to the Don Wright Faculty of Music.

“I have a soft spot in my heart for music students,” he says. “It’s a very unique student community, unlike any other on campus, that I think is important to celebrate and support.”

The other half of Ryan’s monthly donation supports the Student Development Centre, which he feels is a natural fit due to his desire to help students get the most out of their Western Experience – in and out of the classroom.

For Ryan, it’s not the amount of the donation that’s important but the consistency. He knows that, for the equivalent cost of a couple of Starbucks coffees each month, his gift provides regular support that goes directly to enhancing the student experience.

“When I look back and see who I was when I walked onto campus that first day and know that who I’ve become now is a direct result of the learning and experiences Western gave me; it’s worth its weight in gold to me to give that same experience to current students.”

This article appeared in the 2015 edition of Annual Impact
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