The University of British Columbia has launched an ambitious $1.5 billion fundraising campaign with a twin goal of doubling the number of alumni engaged in the life of the university by 2015.
In the planning years leading up to the campaign launch, the university raised $760 million towards the final goal. The number of alumni involved with UBC has increased by more than 50 per cent over the last three years. The university is aiming to double engagement to 50,000 alumni annually by the end of the campaign.
By combining philanthropic gifts and alumni talents, UBC seeks to enhance student learning, expand research capacity and extend its community engagement initiatives.
The campaign, named start an evolution, is the largest fundraising campaign in Canadian university history and was launched in Vancouver today with a campus celebration. UBC’s campus in the Okanagan aims to raise $100 million and double its own alumni participation levels as part of the overall UBC campaign goals.
“As one of the world’s top ranked universities, UBC is already at the forefront of many of the major issues facing us today,” said UBC President Prof. Stephen Toope at today’s launch event. “We are inviting our alumni, donors and friends to join forces with us so that together we can be more effective in finding long-term solutions to our world’s most pressing problems.”
“Many generous donors and committed alumni have helped us to reach half way to our goal,” said Barbara Miles, Vice President, Development & Alumni Engagement. “Through the start an evolution campaign we want to connect with many more donors, alumni and friends. At the startanevolution.ca website they can see for themselves the many projects UBC is already engaged in. If you have a passion for an issue, there’s a good chance UBC is already working on it in some way.”
“We want our 260,000 alumni to see UBC as a place where they can continue to pursue their passions,” said Jeff Todd, executive director of the Alumni Association and associate vice president Alumni Affairs. “We want our alumni actively participating in intellectual, cultural, and social activities – both at UBC and in their communities – by donating, mentoring or by re-connecting with their alma mater, faculty or classmates.”
UBC alumna Jodie Martinson was part of a group of journalism students who won an Emmy award for a documentary they produced about the dumping of electronic-waste in Ghana, titled: Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground. The film was produced as part of the new UBC International Reporting Course.
Martinson spoke at today’s launch about the course and their resulting documentary, all of which was made possible by a donation from Vancouver philanthropist Alison Lawton to the UBC Graduate School of Journalism.
“The donation from Alison Lawton, in conjunction with the efforts of our Professor Peter Klein enabled us to experience real international field work, and report on real global issues – such as the dumping of electronic waste,” said Martinson. “The Emmy win was just the icing on the cake of what was already an amazing experience.”
Lawton said she is grateful for becoming involved in such a great cause.
“The donation helped Prof. Klein bring the International Reporting Course to life, giving the students a chance to experience true global journalism, and show them the impact of their voice,” said Lawton. “At the same time, the course gives a pedestal to underrepresented global issues, expanding our awareness, and that’s a great thing.”
The honorary chair of the Vancouver campus start an evolution campaign is alumnus Robert Lee, who earned a Bachelor of Commerce from UBC in 1956 and a Doctor of Law from UBC in 1996 and is the chairman of the Prospero Group of Companies. The campaign co-chairs for the Vancouver campus are Lindsay Gordon, the President and CEO Of HSBC Bank Canada, who graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts in 1973 and a Master of Business Administration in 1976; Phil Lind, the vice-chairman of Rogers Communications Inc., who graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts in 1966 and a Doctor of Law in 2002; and Brenda McLean, the vice-chair of the McLean Group of Companies and a 2007 honorary UBC alumna.
For more information about the campaign, visit: http://startanevolution.ca