The Strober Foundation Donation; screenshot from Global News

The well-known Stober family has recently made a significant contribution to UBCO and the Kelowna community.

After becoming successful through business and construction ventures with the Stober Group, Sandra and Albert Stober created The Stober Foundation to support local, national, and international charity initiatives. One of their most famous additions to the community is the annual Tree of Hope that is displayed every year in the Landmark District to mark the holiday season.

The foundation is now headed by Albert and Sandra’s son, Ken, and has seemingly become devoted to community health projects in 2020.

After partnering earlier this year with the Okanagan College Foundation and committing $500,000 to the development of a Health Science Centre at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus and a $250,000 award fund, it was announced in October that the Stober Foundation would also be committing $1 million to UBCO.

Both commitments, which will be made over five years, centre on training students in health and social service professions. For UBCO, the donation will be nearly doubled with the help of a fundraising initiative by Aspire, bringing the total contribution to $1.9 million.

Needs-based and merit-based scholarships will be provided through the donation and $500,000 will be used to create the Stober Fellows Program which will help in the requirement process of UBCO’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences. Support will be provided for undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Some of the awards have already been granted for the current academic year.

An example of where other parts of the donation will be placed is by funding 15 additional students at the UBCO Social Work Mental Health Clinic for practicum placements. This will potentially allow for 75 clients and their families to receive services.

“Generations of students will graduate from UBC Okanagan having been supported by the Stober family endowment—creating real, tangible difference in the community long into the future,” says Professor Lesley Cormack who serves as the Deputy Vice-chancellor and principal at UBCO.

“With these new scholarship and fellowship opportunities in health, exercise science and mental health, not only will students benefit but so too will initiatives that improve the lives of so many in the Okanagan.”