Alumnus recognized for supporting education

Published on November 19, 2020

Orest Myroon among donors celebrated for National Philanthropy Day

Orest Myroon clearly recalls the first time he gave to NAIT. In 1994, he received a letter about the institute’s first-ever capital fundraising campaign. Thanks to donors like Orest, it was a success, raising $4.5 million to build the South Learning Centre on main campus. 

The timing, he says, couldn’t have been better to receive that letter. After a few decades of putting his Chemical Technology diploma to work, Orest was ready to return the favour. “I got a great education at NAIT,” he says. “Something said to me that I could afford to start giving.”

That gift launched nearly 3 decades of support from Orest for the polytechnic.  Now, he is being recognized during National Philanthropy Day. On Nov. 19, Orest was part of a group acknowledged during a virtual event held by the Edmonton and Area Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, honouring volunteers and philanthropists who are making a difference in the community. 

“It just makes me feel good that NAIT took the effort to recognize the support I’ve given over the years.” 

When Orest heard that he was being recognized in the category for education, he was surprised and humbled. 

“It’s quite an honour to be nominated for the award,” he says. “It just makes me feel good that NAIT took the effort to recognize the support I’ve given over the years.” 

Giving back a rewarding experience 

Since 1994, Orest has made a gift nearly every year in support of the Chemical Technology program, scholarships and bursaries and facilities like the Feltham Centre. He’s also returned to campus often to volunteer at events such as Open House, New Student Orientation and Convocation. 

For him, being part of graduation ceremonies is particularly rewarding.  

“It’s great to see how happy students are and the smiles on their faces, knowing they’ve just completed their studies and are moving into the next chapter of their lives,” says Orest, who spent much of his career in labs at the Alberta Department of Agriculture and then Atco Gas.  

In addition to supporting NAIT, Orest has served his community as a past board member of E4C and continues to be an annual donor to support the organization’s mission to lift people out of poverty. He’s also volunteered for the Greater Edmonton Foundation and is an active volunteer at the McQueen Senior Lodge. He and his wife Sonja are members of the Hosanna Lutheran Church, helping with various volunteer committees.  

Orest says his reason for supporting the community is simple: “It makes me feel good to give.”