Graham gift pushes campaign over $100 million
A gift of more than $4.78 million to the U of S from two of its graduates has pushed the Thinking the World of our Future capital campaign past its initial mark a full 18 months ahead of schedule.
At a special event May 4 on campus, Ron and Jane Graham (BE ’62 and BEd ’62) were recognized for contributing to the University’s $100 million campaign. The majority of the money – $3.27 million – will be used to support technical and professional communications education in the College of Engineering. Another $1.2 million will be used for the clubhouse facility at Griffiths Stadium while $300,000 will be directed to scholarships. And, Huskie women’s basketball will receive $10,000.
There have been a number of significant corporate donations made to the campaign but the Graham gift is the largest single personal gift. Ron Graham is chairman of the Graham Group of Companies, formerly Graham Construction and Engineering (1985) Inc., a family and employee owned construction company based in Calgary. With offices across Canada and throughout the United States, the company does over $400 million in construction work annually, and is the general contractor on the expansion project at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.
In accepting the gift, President Peter MacKinnon said the Grahams, like the more than 12,000 other donors to the campaign, are assisting the University in building for the future by “strengthening our commitment to research and scholarly activities, and creating new and exciting opportunities for our outstanding faculty, graduate students and undergraduates.”
Heather Magotiaux, Vice-President University Advancement, said the Grahams are an example of the “outstanding support this University has received from people around the world – alumni, business and friends. The fact that we have reached the $100 million mark at this point in a campaign that runs until the end of 2007 speaks volumes to the fact the University is seen as a quality institution and a national player in both education and research.”
The total in campaign gifts and pledges as of March 31 was $102,016,183.
While campaign donations have been directed to many priorities across campus, Magotiaux said the largest beneficiaries have been student awards and scholarships, research and academic programs, and bricks and mortar projects like the College of Law expansion, and Griffiths Stadium.
She added there were more than $100 million in needs and priorities identified when the campaign went public in November 2004, and more have been added since. “This is a very dynamic environment which is why the campaign continues. In fact, there is still a lot of work to do. We’re moving from ‘campaign’ to campaigning with the goal of maintaining the current level of support to the University over the long haul.”