The Trust helps students to further their education by giving scholarships, financial and other assistance. The Trust is named in recognition of Kate Milligan Edger (1857-1935), the first woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in the British Empire.
The Trust grew out of the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women, which started assisting with regalia for graduation to help the University of Auckland over 40 years ago. Many financial awards adding up to over $1 million have been granted to University of Auckland students since then. The Trust gives away over 100 awards each year, which vary from $15,000 postdoctoral research awards to smaller $1,500 grants.
In December 2013 the Trust made a donation of $12,000 to Student Support funds with the purpose of helping students facing hardship. What hardship meant would be up to the Deans of the faculties to decide. Each faculty was given $1,500 to support students who met the criteria, some of whom were given the full grant, while others received a smaller amount. Many were inspired to write letters of thanks to the Trust out of sincere appreciation for the support they had received.
The letter below from a student in the University’s Faculty of Science is just one example. The Dean decided that this Physics student deserved financial assistance after facing the struggle of supporting her mother with terminal cancer over a period of 12 months.
The circumstances only came to light after her mother’s death. It was felt that this student’s ability to continue with her education at an extremely difficult time would be greatly helped by the additional financial support provided by the Trust.
“We thank the Trust for their immense generosity to date and for contributing an additional $16,000 to Student Support funds in 2015,” says Director of Alumni Relations and Development Mark Bentley. “For students facing hardship, it can be the difference between furthering their education and giving up.”
“The power of many small gifts to make a big difference cannot be underestimated or better illustrated than in Reenu’s heartfelt letter of thanks.”
Dear Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust,
I would like to sincerely thank you for selecting me to receive this grant. I really do appreciate it. I have been going through a really difficult time recently with my mother’s passing and the final year stress. Being awarded this grant means there is one less thing to worry about. I am very glad to know that this trust exists to help students in difficult circumstances.
Once again, thank you very much for this kind gesture.
Faculty of Science