SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

April 29, 2016 22:00 ET

University of Calgary thanks community for support in building 50-year legacy

University family celebrates the life-changing impact of philanthropy

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - April 29, 2016) - The University of Calgary kicked off its year-long 50th Anniversary celebration on Friday, April 29, 2016 with a thank-you message to supporters and a tribute to its longest-standing donor. Margaret Clarke has been contributing to student success since 1965 through a bursary she established in memory of her late husband. Over the course of more than 50 years, her generosity has directly impacted the lives of more than 100 students.

"We are grateful to all our donors. Every gift counts and is meaningful -- often in ways not fully realized until years later," said Elizabeth Cannon, president and vice-chancellor of the university. "In Margaret's case, one of her first bursaries went to Gwyn Morgan, who went on to build the Encana Corporation -- and who is now establishing his own bursary." Morgan was on hand to thank the Clarke family, sharing the note of gratitude he wrote in 1965 after receiving the Robert B. Paugh Memorial Undergraduate Bursary in Engineering.

Cannon then officially launched the university's most ambitious fundraising campaign to date -- called Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High -- announcing that the campaign is already more than half way to the goal of $1.3 billion. Donors have contributed more than $714 million since 2011, when the university began its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where it fully engages the communities it both serves and leads. Out of the total individual donations, 70% was contributed directly by University of Calgary alumni.

"The philanthropic community has been integral in helping shape who we are today, and they expect nothing short of excellence from us," said Cannon. "Our Eyes High strategic vision is all about excellence, and this campaign will help us continue to build on the momentum of our journey towards transformational change for the university and the community."

Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High already enjoys the support of nearly 20,000 donors; more than 80 per cent of those are individual donors.

"Our community of supporters challenge us to be bolder, think bigger, and achieve more. And they believe in us to deliver on a shared vision of what the University of Calgary can achieve," said Cannon. "Be it large or small, the support of the philanthropic community has touched the lives of countless individuals throughout the university. Where we have needed support, they have stepped in. Where we have led, they have joined us. Together, we have built this university for the betterment of the community, with the support of the community. It is our privilege to say thank you."

The campaign is intended to serve as a catalyst for those determined to make a difference. Funds raised will be invested in three core pillars -- student experience, research outcomes and community connections -- and will push the University of Calgary to become Canada's most entrepreneurial university in the country's most enterprising city over the next 50 years.

For more information on Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High visit ucalgary.ca/campaign.

NOTE: Video clips and commentary from event guests will be posted for use by media on the Media Centre webpage by 10 p.m. MT tonight.

About the University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.' 

For more information, visit ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media centre at ucalgary.ca/news/media.

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