Volume 12, Number 6 November 5, 2004

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$100-million campaign launched to give major boost to U of S

By Lawrence McMahen

The U of S officially launched a six-year, $100-million fundraising campaign Nov. 4, designed to boost research, scholarship, graduate studies and faculty recruitment.

At five simultaneous launch ceremonies held in Saskatoon, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto and New York, University officials announced that the campaign, covering the period 2001-07, has already raised more than $57 million from major donors, a campus employees campaign, and regular fundraising since May 2001.

It was revealed that $1.99 million was raised in a recent sub-campaign in the U of S campus community, with 20 per cent of faculty, staff, board of governors members and retirees contributing.

As well, major gifts of $5 million from the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, $3 million from Cameco, and $1 million from alumnus Barrie Wigmore and his wife Deedee were announced at the launch ceremony.

Organizers say the timing of the campaign – with the theme Thinking the World of Our Future – will build on current excitement over the Canadian Light Source synchrotron which just opened on campus, and will culminate with the University’s 100th birthday celebrations in 2007.

Campaign Communications Officer Susan Burton says a nine-member national advisory committee, including five regional campaign chairs, are supported in managing the campaign by U of S Development Office staff and more than 100 highly placed volunteers across Canada.

“We have some very major people – an oil company vice-president, bank executives, senior business people, lawyers and others – not only helping to raise money, but also to raise awareness among alumni, volunteers and donors about the exciting developments underway at the U of S,” Burton says.

She notes that 15 recent and current building projects on campus – including the synchrotron, a planned International Vaccine Centre, the new Physical Activity Complex, expansion to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and the Vaccine & Infectious Disease Organization, and construction of other new buildings – total $570 million.

At the same time, Burton says, the U of S has just set major new priorities to pursue pre-eminence in certain academic fields, increase research and grad studies – which has helped set the specific goals for use of the $100 million the campaign is expected to raise. Those are:

  • $15 million for undergraduate scholarships and bursaries.
  • 20 million for graduate student fellowships and awards.
  • $5 million to increase experiential learning and study-abroad programs, and initiatives for Aboriginal students.
  • $18 million for six endowed faculty research chairs.
  • $5 million for an expanded, high-tech Academic Commons in the Main Library, and other enhancements to the Library.
  • $9 million to add and upgrade specialized research facilities.
  • $10 million to help pay for the major renovation of the College Building, now underway.
  • $3 million to build a Graduate Student Commons.
  • $15 million to build the first phase of a Fine and Performing Arts Centre on campus.

Heather Magotiaux, Vice-President of University Advancement, says the U of S has a global reach through its alumni. While half remain in Saskatchewan, half are located across Canada and around the world – and virtually all retain a warm spot in their heart for the U of S, and are interested in what it’s doing.

“Our challenge is to maintain ties with them, so that they continue to feel part of this great community,” Magotiaux says. The campaign can keep them informed and involved with the U of S.

Magotiaux says another goal of this 2001-07 campaign is to raise the capacity of the University’s ongoing, regular fundraising. The hope is to increase annual fundraising from the $12-million level it was at a couple of years ago, to a new level closer to $25 million per year.

Burton says the five campaign launch events were fitted for live, two-way audio-visual hook-ups. The evening program called for live reports from each site, hosted by U of S officials including Chancellor Tom Molloy, Vice-President (Research) Steven Franklin, Commerce Dean Lynne Pearson, and Vice-President Finance & Resources Tony Whitworth.

Burton says more than 70 guests were expected in Calgary and Toronto, with about 60 in Ottawa, 28 in New York, and close to 400 at the main site in the new Physical Activity Complex gym on campus. Magotiaux and President Peter MacKinnon spoke at the campus event.

She adds that news media were invited to cover the event.

Burton notes that, unlike some other universities’ current fundraising campaigns, the U of S campaign’s goal of $100 million will not include government grants.

“It is purely philanthropic, with all gifts eligible for tax receipts.”

Administrative costs for the campaign are expected to be less than six per cent of the total.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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