Meszaros pledges major donation to support trades, international students at Lethbridge College
April 16, 2012 - Lethbridge builder Steve Meszaros, while being feted as one of three Lethbridge College distinguished alumni Friday night, announced he would make a significant investment in the college to support international students and the college’s Trades and Technology Renewal and Innovation Project (TTRIP).
"Lethbridge College gave me my start in life and I feel an obligation to give back," Meszaros said Monday morning. “I come from humble beginnings – my family and I came from Hungary after escaping the 1956 revolution. I came to love Canada, and love it more every time I travel. Its beauty and opportunities are endless. I want to help young people become Canadians and add their strong work ethic and values to our country.”
In addition to providing opportunities for international students, Meszaros said it is also important to support the trades.
"Alberta is on the brink of yet another surge in oil sands expansion, pipe line construction and wind and natural gas electrical energy production," Meszaros said. "We will need tens of thousands of new people to fill jobs in these sectors in the next 10 to 20 years. Putting our heads in the sand and saying it won't be my problem because we will be retired is not the answer. The sooner the college has all the money needed to complete this project, the sooner the building will be completed and the college can begin filling the halls and increasing enrolments in the various programs.”
Meszaros’s gift will be split equally between the Steve Meszaros International Bursary to assist international students, especially those from eastern European countries,and the college’s new trades and technology project.
"Steve’s donation will make a real difference in the lives of real students,” said Dr. Tracy L. Edwards, Lethbridge College president and CEO, on Friday night. "This new international bursary will make a world-class education at Lethbridge College a reality for students from other countries. And all students benefit from having a diverse campus – whether that diversity is found in students who come from small towns, big cities, different provinces or different countries.”
The gift in support of the trades and technology project will provide practical support – funding for design and development and later for bricks and mortar – as well as inspirational encouragement.
"Steve’s gift galvanizes the college’s effort to continue fundraising for this most important project,” Edwards added. "We are delighted with the momentum the project has had these last weeks – between the government’s pledge of $55 million and Steve’s commitment, I’d say we are well on our way to making this dream a reality.The new Trades Centre will cement Lethbridge College’s place as the institution for trades training in southern Alberta, and it will ensure that a steady stream of graduates continue to live and work in and around the Lethbridge area.”
The Distinguished Alumni dinner is an annual event that celebrates accomplished alumni who credit their time at Lethbridge College as one of the secrets of their success. Meszaros was joined by Lethbridge College alumni Rod McLeod and Diane Irvine Shanks in receiving this year’s honours. His announcement came in the midst of his speech at the college’s Garden Court Restaurant and was greeted enthusiastically by the crowd.
Meszaros, co-owner of Avonlea Homes, graduated from the Business Administration program at the college in 1976. After establishing one of the region’s most successful and sustainable businesses, he has given back in many public and behind-the-scenes ways, including supporting the training and development of young trades people.
For more information about the Trades and Technology Renewal and Innovation Project, contact the Advancement Office at 403-320-3457.
Media inquiries may be directed to Lisa Kozleski, 403-320-3202 X 5778.