Response to Covid-19 pandemic: As a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic and its severe economic impact, the KEGS Foundation, like nearly every organization, pivoted abruptly in mid-March from previously announced programs and initiatives, to focus on ways to assist current scholarship recipients and other students to continue with their geophysical education in the "new normal" that will ultimately emerge, as well as to learn how different universities are adapting their instructional programs to a mainly virtual format to accommodate health concerns.
Renewal of scholarship program for 2020/21: Following the announced extrusion of the application deadline April 30 to ensure that interested students had ample time to apply in the altered virtual environment, the Foundation is pleased to acknowledge receipt of a near-record number of applications. Evaluation of the applications and award decisions are now in process. Decisions should be announced by early July, recognizing that students are grappling with their education funding for the fall term, including recently announced federal assistance.
Student outreach: In collaboration with KEGS, the Foundation is being guided by recent graduates Max Salman and Skyler Mallozzi, both past KF scholarship recipients, in developing an enhanced social media presence to strengthen awareness by and communications with the current generation of media-savvy students.
Alumni affairs: The Foundation continues to follow with interest the careers of the now more than 275 past scholarship recipients as they pursue further education and ultimately employment, and encourages donations to the Foundation by past awardees with established careers to support current and future students. It was noted with pleasure that several of the authors of presentations at the KEGS Symposium were past recipients of scholarships from KEGS or the KEGS Foundation.
Financial Overview: The financial report for the Foundation for FY 2019 (ending July 13, 2019) has been posted here, and the required annual tax filing completed and submitted to the CRA. Although the economic impact of the pandemic has caused significant decrease in certain investments, including a portion of the Collett legacy gift in 2017, thanks to its conservative investment policy, the Foundation’s finances remain reasonably sound, and sufficient to fund its core scholarship program for 2020/21, although likely at a slightly reduced level. However, additional donations by sustaining and new donors are needed and are being actively sought to enhance the funds available to sustain Foundation’s core scholarship at recent levels.
Donations and fundraising efforts: Regular donations have obviously been significantly affected by the pandemic. Individual donors are reminded that they can double the impact of their tax-deductible donations by taking advantage of the continuing matching donation program generously funded by Phoenix Geophysics (individual donations are eligible to be matched up to $250 per year; see details).
Collaboration with KEGS and other organizations: The Foundation is continuing its efforts to collaborate closely with KEGS, BCGS, TGDG and other geo-organizations in advancing geophysical and related education and achieving useful synergy between groups and events, now occurring primarily in the virtual mode.
Governance and management: The Foundation remains focused on adapting to the ever-changing societal, business and technological environment, so as to be relevant and effective in achieving its overall educational objectives as it expands the breadth of its activities in collaboration with KEGS, BCGS and the SEG Foundation. In terms of achieving a planned transition in management and ensuring active and relevant governance, long-serving Director Stephen Reford, previously Acting Chair, was appointed Chair, succeeding Jerry Roth, who will remain a Director for another year, as part of implementing a more collegial governance structure with greater roles and designated responsibilities by each of the nine volunteer Directors. These matters were further considered at the annual Board meeting on March 1, and discussed with supporters at the Foundation's AGM on March 5.