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365 days of Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High

One year in, UCalgary alumni, friends and donors prove their passionate support for the most ambitious campaign in our history
May 4, 2017
A ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opens the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex at the Schulich School of Engineering, November 15, 2016. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

A ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opens the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex at the Schulich School of Engineering, November 15, 2016. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

As the numbers rolled in over the final hour of UCalgary’s inaugural 50-hour Giving Day initiative, Nuvyn Peters, vice-president of Development and Alumni Engagement, couldn’t contain her surprise and delight.

“The energy generated over the course of Giving Day was an unbelievable show of support from the community,” says Peters of the campaign-within-a-campaign that wrapped up on Saturday. “It’s proof of the unwavering belief our alumni and friends have in the incredible potential of our students.”

Giving Day capped off a remarkable year for Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, bringing the total raised to date to more than $850 million, fueled by upwards of 22,000 supporters. That number includes not only the 380 donors from the campus community who gave this year, but an additional 400-plus who stepped forward in support of Giving Day. “We’re absolutely thrilled to see such a positive uptake from the entire campus community,” says Peters.

Indeed, the public launch of a $1.3-billion campaign during a challenging economic time in Calgary could have marked the beginning of an arduous uphill struggle; as it turned out, philanthropic support of the university’s Eyes High strategy was — and continues to be — overwhelmingly strong. In the year since its public launch last April, supporters have propelled Energize to well past its $100-million annual target.

“The fact that we have achieved our campaign goal this year is a true testament to the philanthropic spirit of Calgary,” says Peters. “The support and momentum behind Energize has been a strong signal from the community that they have confidence in our strategies and objectives, and in the role the university plays in diversifying the economy in our city.”

Already, the campaign has sparked several historic firsts. Last fall, UCalgary launched the Legacy Society, a planned giving initiative established to celebrate individuals who have included the university in their estate plan. The Energize campaign has also inspired alumni and friends to break new academic ground. Last May, a unique leadership adventure education fund launched at Haskayne School of Business with a $3-million gift from alumni Hal Kvisle, MBA’82. In November, a group of friends and former classmates from the Chemical Engineering Class of 1980 were on hand to see the opening of the Schulich School of Engineering’s new $174-million, state-of-the-art Canadian Natural Resources Limited Complex — a building they helped enhance via their collective gift to student-oriented spaces.

All in all, it’s been a tremendous year for UCalgary and the students, faculty, staff and community who so passionately and pragmatically strive to make lasting, transformative change on campus and beyond.

Stay tuned for more details about a new Campus Giving Program rolling out this fall that will officially celebrate and thank our campus-family donors.