UNB enjoys banner year for fundraising

With the support of its alumni, and friends, the University of New Brunswick raised the second largest sum in its history last year.

Thanks to the contributions of 5000 alumni, UNB collected $25 million in 2011-12.

“Beyond the gifts themselves, the implicit message behind them is deeply encouraging,” said Eddy Campbell, president of UNB. “That’s 5000 people who believe in this university. It’s 5000 people who chose to support us, despite other obligations, and despite difficult financial times.”

Over 90 per cent of gifts received by UNB came from its alumni.

“Alumni give out of a feeling of deep connection to UNB – a sense of stewardship, really.  UNB is ours, and it will forever be ours. We want to see it succeed and we want the students who enter its halls to succeed as well,” said the president of UNB’s Associated Alumni Heather Neilson.

The ones who benefit most

Donations to the university are targeted to a variety of initiatives and programs that support students, faculty, and research, such as equipment, library holdings, athletics, research, or other resources for faculties and departments.

“These gifts improve the space in which we live, learn, research, and work,” said Campbell.

Although donations are beneficial to everyone at the university, Campbell says the ones who benefit most are the students.

Danielle Losier, a Kinesiology student and athlete with the Varsity Reds swim team, says donations and sponsorship are what helps her balance school and athletics.

“We have a very hectic swim schedule, and to not have to worry about maintaining a part-time job over the school year has really helped me focus on both my school and my swimming, and excel in both,” she says.

Over the past ten years, $52.3 million in donations have been directed to students through financial assistance.

World-class facilities and faculty

David Lentz, the economic geology chair in the Department of Earth Sciences, says donations have helped UNB grow in stature in Canada and internationally.

“Our lab-related environment, our research equipment, is some of the best in the world, which has actually allowed us to attract and keep some of the best faculty,” says Lentz. “We’re producing excellent graduate students and phenomenally gifted undergraduate students. They support every level of faculty, and it’s really moving because that’s not the way it’s always been.”

A more recent donation, from the McCain family, allowed UNB to establish the Andrew and Marjorie McCain Human Performance Lab.

The world-class facility allows UNB’s research team to examine human movement and develop solutions for impaired movement.

“It’s provided our graduates with a wonderful research space, enhanced our undergraduate teaching labs, and overall has improved our research program within the faculty, and something that we can build on in the future years,” says associate professor of Kinesiology Usha Kuruganti.

Director of Development and Donor Relations, Peter Coates, knows first hand the importance of outside sources supporting the university.

“We are fortunate to have so many alumni and friends who are dedicated to ensuring UNB provides a first-rate educational experience for our students,” says Coates.

“Their unfailing commitment, even in these difficult economic times, is a source of great pride and encouragement.  We are truly grateful.”

Contributed by Bronté James, Communications and Marketing. Story made possible by UNB Associated Alumni.

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