Donor of the Month: March

Carol Bellringer in front of a fountain

Former Auditor General for both British Columbia and Manitoba, current CEO of the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation, dedicated Jets fan (even when wintering on Victoria Island) and devotee of both the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Victoria Symphony Society—Carol Bellringer’s relationship with UWinnipeg is one that reaches back over two decades, despite never working as a staff member or attending classes as a student. Unlike most donors in her position, few people outside of the University have been given the opportunity to offer their strategic opinion on matters related to campus operations and finances in the same way that Carol has in the past. As Provincial Auditor, and as a mother to Collegiate graduate Alex, Carol has undoubtedly helped handle more than her fair share of homework in tandem with her professional assignments related to our campus as a public servant.

A longtime supporter of downtown commerce and culture, Carol has immersed herself in Winnipeg’s business world since arriving from her home town of Montreal in 1986. She has served on the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra Board, the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board of Directors, as a United Way Gift Campaign Member, and as a leader within various other local community boards.

“Like many of these companies, The University of Winnipeg is a key player in the downtown community,” said Carol. “This campus has an important obligation to its surrounding neighborhoods as a leader in accessibility, teaching and driver of economic activity.”

It was during her tenure as Provincial Auditor that Carol met Susan Thompson, who at the time was serving as Mayor. Susan hired Carol as City Auditor in 1993. The two became good friends as their careers progressed side-by-side while working on municipal affairs, and often kept in touch when at opposite ends of the country in the years following.

As Susan approaches her 30th anniversary as Mayoral-elect, the two once again find themselves working side by side—this time in service of students at UWinnipeg. Given the nature of the Susan A. Thompson Scholarship for Woman in Leadership Campaign, and her closeness with the fund’s namesake, Carol notes that she was all too happy to join Elba Haid and Doris Mae Oulton as one of the three campaign co-chairs.

“As a co-chair, it is my hope that our campaign and the award we are helping steward will not only serve as a reminder of the successes of the past and a close friend’s milestone, but as a celebration of opportunity for the future,” said Carol. “For a scholarship aimed at aspiring young leaders, I want to believe that every recipient will use their skills to achieve similar heights and break through other barriers just as Susan did 30 years ago. Donors to this impactful new fund are not only helping students succeed in the moment, but helping sponsor and inspire a generation of new leaders who will go on to achieve great things across all fields.”

For someone who has held multiple leading roles across different organizations, and as one of the scholarship’s inaugural donors, Carol makes a point in telling future recipients to keep their eyes open for unexpected career opportunities.

“As leaders, you have to be ready to react in a positive way to unexpected challenges and changes. Working in government was never where I expected to be, but I’m happy I took the chance when I did!”

Those looking to support the Susan A. Thompson Scholarship for Women in Leadership can follow this link to our online giving page: https://netcommunity.uwinnipeg.ca/crowdfunding/2021/the-susan-thompson-scholarship/donation. Alternatively, you can give us a call at 204-786-9995 if you’d prefer to make your donation over the phone, or send us an email if you have any questions at ma.samyn@uwinnipeg.ca