2013-2014: A year of transformational giving

Two of the largest donations in UCalgary's history are made

Through the generous support of our donor community in fiscal 2013–14, the University of Calgary raised $129.3 million — increasing philanthropic support by nearly five per cent over last year and setting another fundraising record for the institution. Such donations reflect broad community support of our educational programs, research, scholarship, and creative activity, and place us within the top five post-secondary institutions in Canada. Our donors are people of all ages and from all walks of life who share a common belief that giving through the university will help make our community and world a better place. The vision and altruism of our donors allow us to make really big things happen.

One game-changing commitment came in the form of David Werklund’s $25 million gift to the Faculty of Education, which was honoured by naming it the Werklund School of Education. This was the largest gift ever received by a faculty of education in Canada and will help the faculty deliver an enriched experience for education students, faculty and the community that would not be possible otherwise.

The generous giving of our community continued into fiscal 2014–15, with one of the largest single investments in medical research to a Canadian university ever. In June 2014, the Cumming School of Medicine was named in honour of Geoffrey Cumming, a University of Calgary alumnus whose donation of $100 million to further medical research and innovation was matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government of Alberta. With this extraordinary $200 million investment, the university has the opportunity to lead research breakthroughs into some of the biggest medical challenges of this generation.

The university also celebrated the single largest corporate donation in its history, a $7 million gift that resulted in the naming of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex. Once the renovation and expansion of the complex is completed in 2016 — made possible by a $142.5 million investment from the Government of Alberta announced in fall 2013 — it will be much better able to support the students and community of the top-ranked Schulich School of Engineering.

We also embraced donors like Margaret Clarke, who started supporting engineering students with bursaries 50 years ago as a way to remember her husband, an engineer, who had died young. Today, she is the longest-standing donor devoted to supporting our engineering students, having helped over 100 to date. Every year an undergraduate and a graduate student benefit from a Robert B. Paugh Memorial Bursary made possible by Margaret’s decades-long commitment to the university.

Originally published in the 2014 Community Report