It was a fundraising effort that went on for years.
BRIGHTNESS: The campaign for the University of Lethbridge went public in 2018. The school hoped to raise $ 100 million to support the university and engage 20,000 alumni.
On Thursday morning, university officials announced that both goals had not only been met, but had been exceeded.
“This is an exciting day for us because it is about how we can support our university, and our students in particular, as they continue to want to be a part of an exciting and vibrant university that provides all kinds of different experiences,” said Mike. Mahon, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Lethbridge.
A total of $ 103.5 million was raised. The campaign went public in 2018, but Mahon added that there had been behind-the-scenes work before the announcement.
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“The notion of shining more together was to ensure that as we progressed through this campaign, we looked for synergies between our university and the needs of the community, both near and far,” he said.
Mahon was quick to highlight the fundraising goal during a global pandemic and a struggling provincial economy, saying it shows the importance of the university to the community and Alberta as a whole.
“I think it says a lot about the extent to which postsecondary education and the University of Lethbridge are seen as important parts of the community.”
The money will be divided into four categories: enlightenment opportunities (student experience), glowing minds (academic programming), new light (research relevance), and building a community of inspiring lights (community connection).
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Approximately $ 46 million will go towards the student experience, including scholarships and mental health supports.
Carter Lewis is a freshman in college majoring in finance. He received the Clint Dunford Award, awarded to someone who has demonstrated involvement in the community.
Lewis knows firsthand the importance of scholarships when it comes to postsecondary education.
“They are a kind of life or death, I would almost say, because it is expensive. Education is expensive, ”Lewis said.
“So anything that relieves the pressure will make a big, big difference, whether it’s $ 500, $ 800, or $ 25,000.”
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Donations ranged from thousands of dollars to $ 15 million.
“Big donations are important, but so are the smaller donations that are more popular and that really support important initiatives across campus,” Mahon said.
One he is most proud of is that the university is creating supports for students during the pandemic, such as through the COVID-19 Emergency Scholarship.
And donors are excited to see the campaign come to a successful end. MNP in Lethbridge donated $ 100,000 over a four-year period.
“It’s such a good partnership because it fits with what we see, or think, future needs will be for the departing CPA and management students,” said regional managing partner David Muryn.
“We support the communities we are in. We get most of our team from L University and the school of management, so we are happy and proud to be a part of this initiative.”
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The University of Lethbridge experienced a 5.8% decrease in funding as a result of the Alberta government’s 2021 postsecondary budget. Mahon hopes that the success of the campaign will shed light on new opportunities for postsecondary institutions.
“We have known for a long, long time that the nature of postsecondary education and funding for postsecondary will become more challenging due to Alberta’s economy,” he said.
“We know we have to be more entrepreneurial to find other sources of funding, and this campaign is proof that we are trying to achieve that goal.”
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