If you want proof that a Pearson College UWC education transforms lives, Jane Francis and Dave Skilling can provide it. They have visited alumni all over the world and believe the College is “shaping global citizens who will have an impact on the future of our world.”
What prompted this Victoria couple to drop in on former students in places like Slovakia, Thailand, and Namibia? Jane and Dave first got to know Pearson scholars through working on campus and then maintained warm relationships with many alumni. It seemed natural to combine their love of travel with these ongoing friendships to create memorable vacations.
Their relationship with Pearson began when their company, Jane Francis Design, did a series of graphic design projects for an international UWC event on the College campus and for Race Rocks. Shortly after, a College job in Communications came up. Impressed by the school’s focus on international understanding and social service, Jane encouraged Dave to apply, and he was successful. He researched and wrote stories about students and alumni for almost ten years. At the same time, artist Jane attended Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts (MISSA), which has been hosted on Pearson’s Pedder Bay campus for more than 35 years.
In addition to engaging with scholars on campus, Jane and Dave also enjoyed hosting students in their home. Dave recalls one memorable Christmas dinner. “Our table kept growing as more and more students joined us and our family. I’ll never forget cooking the turkey with Puen (Thailand) and Sun Mi (China). It was their first experience with such a thing.” Life after Pearson saw Dave become the Executive Director of MISSA and develop his talents as a print maker. Last year he led a printmaking workshop on campus for students in Years 44 and 45.
Jane and Dave deeply appreciate the work our graduates pursue, in a vast number of fields, on the international and national level. But during their travels, they were also struck by something else; the way Pearson alumni raise their children and affect their communities. Dave says, “They are applying the skills and understanding gathered at the College and making an impact through personal example and influence.”
Long-time donors, Jane and Dave have topped off their involvement with the College by leaving a future gift to the school in their Wills. Learn more about this and other types of planned giving, and how Dave, Jane, and other members of our Lester B. Pearson Legacy Society have included future Pearson students in their plans.