Opportunity Fund Update:
Fulfillment of Promises on Track
Launched in March 1997 with the goal to raise $50 million to increase student scholarships and fellowships, improve student services facilities, and support innovative teaching and research initiatives, Memorial's largest-ever fund raising campaign concluded in December 1999.
Five years of planning and fund raising culminated in a celebration in June 2000 to mark the achievement of the campaign's $50 million goal and its objective of enhancing the Memorial University experience for students. In fact, nearly $60 million was raised by the time the campaign concluded: over $29 million from individuals, corporations and groups in the private sector were matched dollar-for-dollar by the provincial government.
(At the time of this publishing), almost 90 per cent of the funds pledged to the Opportunity Fund by individuals, corporations and groups in the private sector had been collected, with $3.8 million outstanding and on schedule for fulfillment.
Throughout 2000/2001, the impact of gifts to the Opportunity Fund became more visible.
Donations from the private and public sectors began to change the face of the university: the number and size of scholarships increased, exciting new research and teaching initiatives were funded, and new student services and recreation facilities began to enhance the Memorial experience.
By all measures, the Opportunity Fund was a remarkable success - the result of the university community, the community at large and the provincial government coming together in the common goal of advancing Memorial University. As one student so eloquently said. "For the first time in my educational career, I feel a part of something, a part of the total university experience."
How money raised through the Opportunity Fund has been put to use.
- The scholarship fund has grown by more than $15 million. Entrance scholarship funding has grown from $217,400 in 1995-96 to $942,350 in 1999-2000. Each year hundreds more students are entering the university on scholarships, and the value of those scholarships has increased significantly.
- The $1 million Student Centre Annex at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial's Corner Brook campus, was opened in May 1997, providing study, social and recreational space for the college's 1,200 students.
- In St. John's, the $17 million University Centre was opened in early 2000, providing a modern home for the diverse range of services and activities serving the campus's 14,000 students.
- Construction was completed on the $13 million Field House sports and recreation complex in St. John's - with indoor running and walking tracks, multipurpose playing area and seating for 2,000.
- More than $10 million has been dedicated to innovative teaching and research initiatives throughout the university.
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