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Supporters impact CMU students in a time of uncertainty

CMU student Bryant Neufeldt: “Whether you’re indirectly or directly impacted by donors… it’s something you always remember.” CMU student Bryant Neufeldt: “Whether you’re indirectly or directly impacted by donors… it’s something you always remember.”

When Bryant Neufeldt started studying at CMU in the fall of 2019, he didn't expect it to turn out the way it has. His first year came to a strange end when in-person activities on campus abruptly shut down because of the arrival of the COVID-19 in Manitoba. Yet despite the uncertainty and change ahead, he still decided to return to CMU the following year.

"The main reason I chose to go back to CMU for my second year was  the people," says Neufeldt. Whether it was dropping by the offices of staff and faculty, which were always open for conversation, playing spikeball with his fellow students living in residence, or having discussions in the classroom that challenged and enriched his thinking, it was the welcoming community that drew him back to CMU's halls.

As someone who loves the engaging learning environment at CMU, the university's unique plan to offer hybrid learning in that second year, was a big draw for Neufeldt.  What he experienced upon his return was beyond what he imagined.

"This was a year where my journey as a student, academic and social, was put to the test, but it also showed how much CMU cares for their students. I was blown away by the massive effort that the CMU staff and faculty made to make in-person learning and interactions happen in a safe environment. With signs, tape, and hand sanitizer dispensers everywhere, I was constantly reminded of the level of care and understanding that CMU has for in-person learning and the benefit it has for students. It showed an overwhelming love and effort from the school and encouraged me to work hard and persevere as we had this amazing opportunity where we could be at school and not just online."

Neufeld, who hails from Calgary, is now in his third year of a Bachelor of Arts degree in social science. He is also an alumnus of CMU's Outtatown program and currently a residence assistant. He is excited about the full return to campus living and learning this fall—for classes, yes, and for more spikeball with friends.

Neufeldt is thankful for how CMU's donors also care for students. He remembers attending Tuition Freedom Day in his first year, a day when students celebrate donors' generous contributions to their education. Meeting CMU's supporters and hearing them speak stuck with him. "A lot of them were passionate about wanting to help future students learn." He is grateful that because of donors, he doesn't have to rush through his degree always worrying whether or not he will be able to afford tuition. He mentions the importance of people who also donate their time to CMU, like the volunteer counsellors who provide free counselling services for students. "Whether you're indirectly or directly impacted by donors... it's something you always remember."

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