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Marlene Patrick — Loyal Donor of the Year

Who I Am Now

Marlene P.If you don’t respect where you’ve come from, how are you going to respect where you are now? This rhetorical question has influenced me throughout my adult life and certainly does so as a loyal Telfer School donor. My time at the Telfer School, which started back in the 1970s, was made possible by money from scholarships and other generous support. As a woman from a hard-working farm family in southern Ontario, I care that young people from unremarkable backgrounds can get the financial support they need to reap the rewards that education and hard work bring. Opportunity is important to me.

So is inclusiveness. It matters that the Telfer School is bilingual and that it also welcomes students from across the country and around the world. When I was a Telfer BCom student, this spirit of inclusiveness enabled me to study with people who had much different backgrounds than mine. And this exposure helped make me a better student, person and, eventually, accountant and public servant. That inclusive institutions such as the Telfer School and the University of Ottawa exist in Canada’s capital city is of great significance—both as a symbol to everyone throughout the country and as a source of broad-minded professionals, especially for our public service.

These connected values—opportunity and inclusiveness—are why I’ve been a loyal Telfer School donor. I’ve given regularly to scholarship funds and to support the Dean’s strategic priorities. Opportunity and inclusiveness are also why I’ll continue to give. This place and its characteristics helped shape who I am. And if you don’t respect where you’ve come from, how are you going to respect where you are now?

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