Donor in the Spotlight: Rita Lumba-Bacani

2016-2017 Issue 1

lumba_bacani_0Few have had the pleasure of meeting her, but Rita Lumba-Bacani is a pioneer for the School of Continuing Studies. She created one of the School’s first named, direct-funded awards – the Rita Lumba-Bacani and Jun Bacani Scholarship in Accounting and Taxation and/or Entrepreneurship.

Lumba-Bacani immigrated to Montreal from the Philippines in 1969. Unable to get her CPA license recognized in Canada, she enrolled at the School of Continuing Studies and completed a Certificate in Management and a Certificate in Accounting. Throughout her studies she attended evening courses while commuting from Brossard and working 9-to-5 supporting her husband’s two companies.

She kept up this demanding regimen for six years, “but it worked out well for us,” she says. She started donating to the School because she wanted to help others experiencing similar challenges.

“It’s never too late to return to your studies. I went to McGill when I was over 40 years old, and I want to support other people who are working hard to follow their dreams.” Since establishing the scholarship she’s been given the opportunity to meet recipients and hear firsthand the impact her gift has made.

Barry Douek is the most recent. “I was really happy when I received the news,” says Douek. “It helps financially, of course, and it definitely helps in terms of confidence. It’s a reflection of the work we put into [our studies], so the award itself is an accomplishment, and it’s an honour to receive it.” Douek sent Lumba-Bacani a thank-you letter in return.

“Meeting the recipients is incredibly rewarding,” she says. “I trust the School and I know my contributions are making a difference. They understand what I want to do.”

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