Hunter Student Commons opening
Hunter Student Commons grand opening in October 2022. Adrian Shellard, for the University of Calgary

June 22, 2023

Philanthropy at UCalgary: $182M in action

A look back at donor-driven impact over 2022-23 — and beyond

From the big gifts that make headlines across the country to the thousands of others that add up to create tremendous momentum, philanthropy is a cornerstone of excellence at the University of Calgary.

There’s hardly a student, faculty, project or facility on our campus that hasn’t been touched by the generosity of donors. And behind each gift is a caring heart and a bold vision: to create positive, lasting change.

Last year, thousands chose UCalgary to help turn that vision into a reality, with their collective giving totalling an extraordinary $182 million. While we continue to move full speed ahead following the close of the 2022-23 fiscal year, we reflect on the acts of generosity that made it one of our best yet — and how UCalgary is turning that generosity into impact.

Creating a world where every child can thrive

UCalgary’s status as a top research university and partnership with the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation earned a historic $125-million grant from the federal government — the largest ever for an Alberta university — which UCalgary leveraged into an additional $143 million from more than 130 organizations in 25 countries. This allowed the university to launch One Child Every Child, a Canada-first child-health research initiative.

A breakaway for sport-science and chronic disease research

The late Joan Snyder, Hon. LLD’11, brought innovation and industry to her philanthropy, seeking to improve the lives of others and elevate the community. And, in true Snyder fashion, her final act of generosity was an exceptional $67.5-million legacy gift that is boosting health research, sports-science and athletics, especially for women and girls.

“Philanthropy is more than money, it’s helping people. The community coming together, each giving what they can and supporting each other, just as my parents taught me.”

Joan Snyder

World-class quantum research — right here in Alberta

Quantum Horizons Alberta is a new $25-million initiative to expand our foundational knowledge of quantum science. Initiated by a group of visionary donors, it brings together UCalgary and the universities of Alberta and Lethbridge to grow our research capacity, attract top talent and educate the next generation of scientists.

Power in numbers: A record-breaking Giving Day

Giving Day 2023 in April brought together more than 2,600 donors to raise a record-breaking $2.5 million — and the recipients of our Giving Day Community Champion Awards helped get us there, rallying friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances to support student awards and experiences, research, faculty initiatives, and more.

two men in workout attire posing with a dinosaur mascot at a spin-a-thon event

MIST Chair Matthew Hill, left, Rex, and Rob Hunt at the Hustle with Hunt Spin-a-Thon

Victoria Truong, University of Calgary

A new era of business education

The stunning Mathison Hall opened its doors in November 2022, elevating the student experience and quality of teaching at the Haskayne School of Business. Supported by a $20-million foundational gift from Ron Mathison and many others, the facility includes new classrooms and workspaces, an event centre and student services.

Evolving Canada’s energy landscape

Established with a founding gift from Don Archibald and support from the Tamaratt Fund at Calgary Foundation, UCeed Energy is set to strengthen Canada’s energy landscape by providing seed funding to research-driven startups. To date, more than $5 million has been invested through UCeed’s six funding streams, creating more than 300 jobs and inspiring an additional $63 million in external investment.

“(UCeed has) a growing track record and credibility. It’s difficult to raise money for young, energy-related ventures, especially technology-driven ones. But that’s where a lot of innovation comes from.”

Don Archibald

Shaping tomorrow’s tech leaders

The Kennedy Scholars Program, established with a $2.3-million gift from Paul Kennedy, intersects both science and business to keep the momentum of Calgary’s tech sector going strong. The scholarship is awarded to two students each year — one from Calgary and one from outside the city — supporting them as they earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, followed by a master’s in management.

Entrepreneurial minds meet in new student hub

Hunter Student Commons, home to the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, officially opened in fall 2022 to much fanfare. Established with a $40-million gift from the Hunter Family Foundation, the Hunter Hub brings together students and scholars from all disciplines to develop and launch new ideas and change the world around them.

“Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the economy. They are the ones who create jobs and build companies. You have to be able to take risks, step out and take that first step and learn from your mistakes, and get support.”

Doug Hunter, Hon. LLD’19, Hunter Family Foundation

Fuelling neuroscience startups and solutions

A remarkable legacy gift from T. Boone Pickens is set to take the Hotchkiss Brain Institute to unprecedented new heights. The US$12.5-million gift will attract talent, promote innovation and international collaboration, and turn research into real-world impact through the new UCeed Neuro investment fund.

Philanthropy at UCalgary drives groundbreaking research, exceptional student experiences, and positive change on our campus, in the community and around the world. Discover the transformational impact of giving.

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