June 30, 2020

UCalgary makes history with completion of Canada’s third largest fundraising campaign, surpassing $1.4 billion in philanthropic support

UCalgary’s record-setting Energize campaign bolsters research, enriches teaching and student-learning opportunities and drives entrepreneurial thinking and innovation

Publicly launched in 2016, the goal of the Energize campaign — envisioned to transform UCalgary into Canada’s most entrepreneurial university in the country’s most enterprising city — was set at $1.3 billion.

Given that the campaign is bookended by an economic downturn and a global pandemic, its final tally of $1.41 billion — raised by nearly 30,000 donors — is a remarkable testament to the community’s belief in a strong research university.

“This an incredible, historic milestone for the university and for this city, and has been paramount in redefining us as Canada’s most entrepreneurial university,” said UCalgary President Dr. Ed McCauley. “This reflects the ambition of this city. The people of Calgary are unique in this way — resilient, visionary and fearless in driving transformative change."

Prior to making his $100-million gift, business leader and philanthropist Geoff Cumming spoke with deans of medical faculties at top-ranked universities around the world and chose UCalgary. “I wanted to contribute to advancing cutting-edge, international research to improve quality of life — an imperative that is more important than ever today,” says Cumming. “And UCalgary is that place — what’s underway here will impact not only this city and this province but the world.”

Energized by you

Funds raised through the campaign have launched numerous initiatives and supported the university’s strengths:

  • Precision medicine, child health and wellness, stroke, brain and mental health research through the Cumming School of Medicine; including the creation of the International Microbiome Centre
  • Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, a global model for online learning during the pandemic
  • Transforming animal-health education through W.A. Ranches, a 19,000-acre working cattle ranch, the largest gift in land to a post-secondary institution in North America
  • UCalgaryStrong, one of the country’s first student-focused mental health and wellness programs
  • A robust innovation ecosystem via the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, UCeed, the Life Sciences Innovation Hub, the Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies and other initiatives that elevate this university, and this city, as a global leader in bridging the transition from discovery through to delivering solutions

“Every gift reflects a personal decision from our extraordinarily devoted community of alumni and friends to support their passion through this university,” says Nuvyn Peters, vice-president (Advancement). “All of it points to our community’s unwavering belief in the crucial work we do, and the valuable role we have in this city. An investment in the university is an investment in the community.”

Please find more detailed information about the Energize campaign by visiting: Campaign stats and stories

UCalgary lights up the city