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U of M sets lofty goal: $500 million

Fundraising needed to upgrade facilities, boost research, support for students

Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/11/2014 (2098 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The amount of money is mind-boggling -- the University of Manitoba wants to raise $500 million in a capital campaign.

It's the largest public capital campaign ever undertaken in Manitoba, more than double the $237 million the U of M raised earlier this century.

University of Manitoba president David Barnard says the Front and Centre campaign has five target areas: indigenous achievement, graduate students, research, student support and facilities.

University of Manitoba president David Barnard says the Front and Centre campaign has five target areas: indigenous achievement, graduate students, research, student support and facilities.

Almost as mind-boggling is that the U of M is confident it will receive at least one donation larger than the record $20 million philanthropist-businessman Marcel Desautels donated to establish the Desautels faculty of music.

University grad and New Flyer president and CEO Paul Soubry will chair the Front and Centre campaign, which will launch officially at next year's Homecoming in October of 2015, U of M president David Barnard said Thursday.

"We've always said we've wanted our priorities to be aligned with the province's priorities," Barnard said.

The campaign goal includes $350 million in private fundraising and $150 million in hoped-for capital grants from the province.

Barnard acknowledged there is an election looming, but said the U of M expects the provincial money would be forthcoming over several years.

"We're comfortable with that conversation," he said.

The Front and Centre campaign has five target areas, which reflect the university's strategic plan and its strategic enrolment-management plan: indigenous achievement, graduate students, research, student support and facilities.

The major new buildings will be a structure on the medical campus to house nursing, dentistry, pharmacy and possibly other health services, and $35 million for facilities on the Fort Garry campus for the Truth and Reconciliation Centre -- which could include a building on the former Southwood golf course land.

"We've been working with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission from the very beginning," said Barnard.

John Kearsey, vice-president external, said he's aware the most recent capital campaign attracted many who donated small amounts who wanted their money to support students through scholarships and bursaries. This time around, one way or another, helping students through enormous endowment funds covers at least $225 million of the goal.

Kearsey said the university asked every faculty for a wish list limited to priority areas and received a list that far exceeded $500 million. "Every one of our faculties has a story it can tell on its own," he said.

Even if not every faculty got all its wishes fulfilled, the targeted goals add up to $577.5 million -- allocating the money will depend on donors' wishes for their money and on how the campaign goes.

The U of M is lowest in the country in graduate-student support among the 15 universities that have medical schools, Kearsey said.

The university hopes to raise $150 million in endowment funds for graduate-student support and a further $75 million financial aid for all students, Kearsey said.

Kearsey would not say which potential donor, or potential donors, could exceed the $20-million record gift from Desautels. Nor would he say if anyone has already committed that money. All he would say is: "We anticipate larger than that."

Barnard said seeing a person's or family's name on a building or fund can be "a tremendously inspirational thing to other people in the community."

The U of M wants research money available "to be able to take advantage of emerging opportunities," Kearsey said.

Barnard cited the university's internationally leading research into climate change in the Arctic and infectious-disease control in Africa.

"It is not lost on us that this is a large comprehensive approach," Soubry said. "It is such an important institution in this province."

Soubry said there will be "a sustainable research chair program across the faculties."

The campaign is already underway and is planned to cover a seven-year period, including all donations during that period.

Capital campaigns generally have money or pledges in hand when the official public launch comes. Next October, Soubry will announce how much has been raised to that point and when the campaign will end, but major donations will be rolled out one by one to maintain momentum and public awareness.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

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History

Updated on Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7:48 AM CST: Changes photo

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