Building a foundation of giving

Published on April 24, 2023

From an early age, Jim Dobie (Architectural Technology ’78) loved to draw buildings. “When I found out you could get paid to draw, my fate was sealed,” recalls Jim. “There was never really any doubt about the journey that would take me to NAIT.”  

Since graduating, Jim has embraced multiple opportunities to give back to the post-secondary institution that launched his career all those years ago. 

As a senior associate at Kasian, where he worked for 34 years until 2021, Jim was a mentor to recent NAIT grads who came to work at the firm. During his time there, he also worked as a consultant on NAIT’s Centre for Culinary Innovation. In 2012, he joined NAIT’s Architectural Technology Program Advisory Council, made up of industry representatives who review programs to ensure students are learning everything they need to be successful in the workforce. 

Now a senior associate at TBD Architecture + Urban Planning, Jim has funded a bursary for second-year Architectural Technology, Interior Design Technology and Landscape Architectural Technology students. 

“No person should be limited in their trajectory just because of money,” he says. “I let others in my circle know that there's such a thing as a bursary. It has great value in making a difference between somebody having to come out of their (program) because they didn't have the money or staying in school. Not only does that individual benefit, but the community benefits from it as well.” 

Today, Jim also volunteers as a community member on the Animal Care Committee for NAIT’s Animal Health Technology program. The committee oversees all aspects of animal care and use at NAIT.  

Looking back, Jim says he wouldn’t have enjoyed the successful career he’s had if it wasn’t for his NAIT education, which gave him the foundational skills to build from at a time when jobs were harder to come by. 

“There's no question that the skill set that I acquired from NAIT was critical to getting (my first) job, and it was the basis of everything that came after.”