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planned giving & trust se r vices Our Students, Our Children, Our School n ot long ago, the Burman University 1 community lost a great friend and supporter. When Carol Clark died, she left a portion of her estate to the university, specifically for the building of a Learning Centre and Student Commons (LC). At the age of 92, forward-thinking Carol Clark had seen that Burman University needs this learning centre to take the university into the 21st century. To understand her vision for the future, we must look at her past. Carol’s love of learning began when she was a child with the support of her parents. Thirsting for knowledge, she spent her time absorbed in books. Later she insisted her daughter, Sheila Clark, teach her to use the Internet. Sheila says her mom was always “curious” and “loved to read to satisfy that drive to learn.” 2 Mother of six, grandmother of 11, great-grand- mother of three, Carol cared deeply about her family’s interests and education. Sheila, now Burman University’s library director, and her mother frequently talked about the “library of the future with all its possibilities.” Carol was also actively involved with many university students, with whom she often visited and “engaged in lively conversations.” Sheila explains that her mother “wanted them all to have the best Christian education possible” and “understood the importance of the 21 st -century library.” So why does the campus need the proposed Learning Centre and Student Commons? For starters, some students describe the library, the only place with quiet, study areas, as a place to be avoided. It is gloomy and confined, and access to technology is very limited. A single room accommodates student work/study groups, and there are no rooms with the technology and equipment librarians and teachers need to instruct and assist students. Finally, there are few places on campus where students can meet and work or study together comfortably. Burman University needs the new learning centre to meet the needs of 21st-century students. They need tables with outlets where they can plug in laptops and devices, as well as more computer labs and rooms with computers and projection equipment, where librarians can show students how to access and use digital resources and where students can create and rehearse presentations. They need spaces where they can work and learn together, such as group study rooms and flexible spaces with moveable, comfortable furniture, as well as quiet reading spaces. Students learning collaboratively and digitally is the way of the future—and the present. Without proper access to technology and work space, without a new learning centre, students do not and will not be able to have the tools they need to compete in the work world or graduate school. Without a modern facility, current and prospective students may choose to study elsewhere. The need for a new learning centre is an issue that must be addressed. Carol Clark’s vision was to bring Burman University into the 21 st century. This Learning Centre project will help our students get the kind of education they need to succeed beyond the classroom. n Leah Keys is a staff writer for the Planned Giving and Trust Services Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada. > > For more information on the proposed Learning Centre and Student Commons, please contact Rhanda Bonet-Graham at or 403/786.2532. < < 1 2 Formerly Canadian University College. All quotations are from Carol Clark’s daughter, Sheila Clark. M M ay 2 015 11