In 1986, the outgoing executives of the Vancouver Island Branch (VIB) of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), decided to establish and incorporate a Scholarship Society. (See Attachment for Incorporation Certificate.) In the late 1980’s / early 1990’s the EIC re-organized to become a federation of member technical societies and the Life Members Organization. In 1994, since the Vancouver Island Branch of EIC was the only one still operating independently at that time, the VIB executive incorporated as a B.C. Not-for-Profit entity, with permission to use the EIC name, under the B.C. Societies Act. It was called, “The Vancouver Island Branch of the Member Societies of the Engineering Institute of Canada”. Members of the group continued to have monthly luncheon meetings, with an increasing involvement of LMO members and then CSSE members. In 2002, at an EIC VIB AGM, the group voted to become affiliated with the CSSE. Most of the members were senior engineers and it tied the Branch back to EIC. One of its purposes, as written in the VIB constitution (much like the CSSE’s to encourage students to pursue an engineering education) was, “to support the activities of the independently incorporated “Vancouver Island Branch of the Engineering Institute of Canada Scholarship Society,” created in 1986. The separate Scholarship Society had its own Board of Directors and independently conducted its own affairs. Since 2002, most Scholarship Society Directors were also VIB Directors and CSSE members. It subsequently became known as the CSSE/EIV VIB Scholarship Society, although its legal name was unchanged.
Over time, CSSE and EIC VIB member support from the Branch through individual personal annual charitable donations, annual Branch donations, usually $1,000, a one-time CSSE donation of $2,500 in 2002/2003 and an early bequest received from Charles Ripley (and one currently in the will of Ramsay Murray) – prominent Victoria Civil Engineers, the Scholarship Society’s funds lodged with the Victoria Foundation reached the targeted $70,000. This endowment would allow a $2,000 scholarship award each year, independent of other local annual contributions.
Recently, the Scholarship Society Board, under the ongoing leadership of Graham Morgan, FCSSE, came to the conclusion that all the Society’s Directors were becoming aged, and some infirmed, so that its affairs should be restructured to continue in perpetuity, without the need for ongoing ‘hands on’ leadership. Accordingly, the Victoria Foundation would be directed to advance annual endowment income directly to the University of Victoria (UVic), who’s Awards office would manage the selection process. Local individual and VIB donations would be used to supplement endowment funds in order to maintain two annual $2,000 student awards. Until this reorganization, award recipients could undertake their studies at any Canadian engineering faculty; however, the Society Board agreed that just utilizing UVic made more sense locally. Once Graham Morgan completed the administrative arrangements with UVic and the Victoria Foundation, the Board agreed to ‘wind-up’ the Scholarship Society. At the CSSE/EIC VIB AGM in 2017, Graham Morgan was named to administer all matters and liaison between the VIB and the Victoria Foundation and UVic for the continuation and funding of the scholarships.
By 2016, cumulative awards totaling more than $80,000 had been granted to over 70 students. For the last decade or so, the Society had been able to offer two $2,000 scholarships to undergraduates entering their second or third year in any branch of engineering for needy and accomplished students who had graduated from a Vancouver Island high school and were Canadian citizens. The Directors of the Society were responsible for selecting the successful applicants. The Selection Committee looked for abilities beyond academic performance that were indicative of a well-rounded individual with future engineering leadership potential.
The effect of these awards on the recipients was cited to be beyond money, as recipients frequently acknowledged being deeply affected by recognition from their seniors. The quotation below from the letter of thanks following the award presentation received from Daniel Fortin, our first indigenous applicant, and a 2009 CSSE EIC Scholarship award winner, speaks volumes to the positive impact this Engineering student scholarship has.
“…I want to use the natural resources around us to help research and develop sustainable energy sources as an electrical engineer…the financial help this will give me…will make it possible for me to reach my educational and career goals. I am so grateful…”