U of L’s $100-mil­lion fundrais­ing and en­gage­ment cam­paign

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Southern Alberta -

Sept. 20, the Uni­ver­sity of Leth­bridge pub­licly launched the most am­bi­tious cam­paign in its 51-year his­tory – SHINE: The Cam­paign for the Uni­ver­sity of Leth­bridge.

Two clear goals have been set for the cam­paign, to raise $100 mil­lion and to greatly in­crease alumni and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment. For U of L Pres­i­dent and Vice-Chan­cel­lor Dr. Mike Ma­hon, these goals are in step with the his­tory of the in­sti­tu­tion and the Uni­ver­sity’s place in the south­ern Al­berta com­mu­nity.

“This is a very bold cam­paign and re­flec­tive of who we are and where we orig­i­nated,” says Ma­hon. “Our com­mu­nity came to­gether 51 years ago with a sim­i­larly bold and au­da­cious plan, push­ing ahead to es­tab­lish a third uni­ver­sity in Al­berta and chang­ing for­ever the cul­ture and econ­omy of south­ern Al­berta. As we look ahead, this cam­paign will build upon what has al­ready been es­tab­lished and push for­ward through ground­break­ing re­search ac­tiv­i­ties, new and pro­gres­sive aca­demic pro­gram­ming, com­mu­nity en­gage­ment ini­tia­tives and the re­al­iza­tion of the Science and Aca­demic Build­ing.”

To date, the cam­paign has raised al­most $67 mil­lion through 31,000 gifts from nearly 9,000 donors.

“We are chal­leng­ing our­selves with this cam­paign but this is what we do here on a daily ba­sis,” says Ma­hon. “The U of L has far ex­ceeded the ex­pec­ta­tions of even its founders and we are con­sis­tently one of the coun­try’s top-ranked uni­ver­si­ties and re­search in­sti­tu­tions. We chal­lenge our fac­ulty to reach be­yond in the class­room and through their re­search, and we chal­lenge our stu­dents to do the same. This cam­paign is sym­bolic of a uni­ver­sity that is not shy of punch­ing above its weight.”

Chan­cel­lor Jan­ice Varzari (BN ’90, MEd ’02) credits the re­la­tion­ship the Uni­ver­sity has with the south­ern Al­berta com­mu­nity for mak­ing this cam­paign pos­si­ble.

“For us to be able to go pub­lic with al­most $67 mil­lion raised speaks to the sup­port we re­ceive from lo­cal gov­ern­ment, lo­cal busi­ness and in­dus­try and of course, lo­cal cit­i­zens,” she says. “It is a re­la­tion­ship built on com­mit­ment and a trust that we will de­liver on what we have ar­tic­u­lated as as­pi­ra­tions.”

A large as­pect of the cam­paign in­volves the U of L’s more than 43,000 alumni and the con­tin­u­ing goal of en­hanc­ing their en­gage­ment with the Uni­ver­sity.

“Alumni have played an im­por­tant role in shap­ing the Uni­ver­sity and will con­tinue to be im­por­tant play­ers as we move for­ward,” says Uni­ver­sity of Leth­bridge Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Michael Gabriel (BA ’04). “It’s im­por­tant we come to­gether and strengthen our com­mu­nity to­day and for decades to come.”

Gabriel says the cam­paign goal is to reach 20,000 en­gaged alumni.

“There are mul­ti­ple ways to get in­volved, in­clud­ing mak­ing a gift, at­tend­ing a U of L event, vol­un­teer­ing or men­tor­ing, or sim­ply stay­ing con­nected and shar­ing your story,” he says. “An en­gaged alumni com­mu­nity trans­lates to a stronger so­cial and pro­fes­sional net­work for all U of L grad­u­ates.”

To learn more about SHINE: The Cam­paign for the Uni­ver­sity of Leth­bridge, and to view the cam­paign video, visit: shine.uleth­bridge.ca.

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