Okanagan College dean of business creates award for global education

The scholarship will provide two annual awards of $2,500

Okanagan School of Business dean Bill Gillett takes an photo, sharing why he supports Okanagan College, as part of the College’s Giving Tuesday campaign. photo: contributed

Business students at Okanagan College will have the opportunity to take their education to new heights thanks to an award established by Bill and Kathy Gillett. Bill is the dean of the Okanagan College School of Business.

The Gilletts have committed $20,000 to create the Okanagan School of Business Dean’s Scholarship. The scholarship will provide two annual awards of $2,500 to third- or fourth-year business students who choose to study at one of Okanagan College’s 16 partner institutions around the world.

“Business is global, and I think it’s so important for students to have a multi-cultural experience,” said Bill.

“There is no such thing as local anymore. In business you could be competing with foreign companies, you might have suppliers overseas or customers overseas. I’d like to help students gain a better understanding of the world, especially if they haven’t had that opportunity.”

Bill, who joined the Okanagan School of Business in 2017, has been travelling and meeting with Okanagan College’s partner institutions to learn more about their programs. He says he’s impressed by the quality of the faculty, as well as expanding options for students to receive a dual degree.

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Okanagan College offers a dual degree program with FH Worms University in Germany. The partnership allows an Okanagan College student to study for three years at Okanagan College and one year at Worms, and receive a bachelor’s degree from both institutions.

The college also recently announced a new partnership with École Supérieure D’Agricultures (ESA) in Angers, France, which allows business students interested in agriculture or viticulture to study for five years and receive a bachelor’s degree from the college and a master’s degree from ESA.

RELATED: Okanagan College professors introduce e-textbooks to ease student costs

The Okanagan School of Business is also exploring setting up new partnerships, including a dual degree program offered at JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Finland.

“The Gillett’s gift to the College is truly visionary,” said Kathy Butler, Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director. “Making it easier for students to study abroad provides them with a much deeper understanding of the world, and makes the world a smaller place.”

Bill made his announcement as part of Okanagan College Foundation’s Giving Tuesday campaign. Giving Tuesday follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is a global day to remind people of the opportunity to participate in philanthropy, and to celebrate the positive effects that giving has on individuals and causes.

Okanagan College is celebrating Giving Tuesday to recognize faculty, staff and alumni who support its students and institution over the years. To learn more, click here.

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