He took a tour of the college’s Clean Energy House Wednesday morning, and based on his experience, calls it “the jewel in the crown of the regional college system.” 

“I’m so pleased and astounded with the growth that has occurred here and the unanimity that exists in the region with regard to the college and how well it has progressed,” he says. “I think there’s an equality [in facilities and programs] in the two campuses that I wouldn’t have believed was possible some 38 years ago.” 

McRae will be speaking to current and potential donors about the role the Northern Lights College Foundation plays in facilitating students to attend its programs and improving the programs themselves. He stresses the importance of fostering an interest in higher education and training within the region. 

“Basically, the community is helping to support the foundation, and through that support realize dynamic programming and growth for the institution.” 

Donations and trusts have always been important to the success of the school, but as McRae explains, the need for support is becoming even greater with changes in how governments help. 

“Up until now, the government has been supporting the college system in B.C. quite extensively,” he admits, “but they have given notice that there are to be reductions in grants to different institutions this coming fiscal year, and this is where the college foundations are going to have to come to the floor and help make up some of the differences that are going to occur.” 

McRae adds that being a donor has other benefits, including a sense of ownership of the college.