Outreach is key to Memorial University 's evolution as a leader on the forefront of education and research in the 21st century. Every corner of the province and the globe, from the most rural to the most cosmopolitan, is within reach of Memorial University . In large part this is due to the influence and support of many of our more than 52,000 alumni.
From Coastal Labrador to Doha, Qatar, from Vancouver to Dhaka, Bangladesh, from Harbour Grace to Houston… in these and many other locations, Memorial alumni came together this year to celebrate their pride in Memorial, to foster professional and lifelong connections and to pass on their enthusiasm to the next generation.
During 2003-04 over 5,600 alumni and friends of Memorial, including individuals, corporations and foundations, donated $11.9 million. In addition, these friends of Memorial made pledges that brought the total amount of outstanding pledges to $19 million. These funds allowed Memorial to not only fund existing scholarships and bursaries, but to also create new ones. Researchers and the community at large are watching with great interest as the Inco Innovation Centre nears its opening date of spring 2005.
Among the more significant corporate donors for the year were Landmark Graphics Corporation and Petro-Canada.
Landmark Graphics Corporation of Texas , U.S. made an in-kind donation of $18.2 million in specialized software and support services to Memorial University . Premier Danny Williams, along with Landmark's executive vice-president, Canada , Doug Meikle, and Memorial President Dr. Axel Meisen welcomed the who's who of the province's oil and gas industry on March 5, 2004 , to recognize this significant gift. The capabilities it offers will help make Memorial the only university in Canada to offer this enriched research and educational environment through a highly specialized Decision Centre.
At a gala concert on November 19, 2003 , Petro-Canada's Gordon Carrick, vice-president East Coast, handed over a cheque for $1.2 million to President Meisen. The gift will fund the construction of the Petro-Canada Hall, a much needed and highly sophisticated concert and rehearsal hall for Memorial's School of Music . The Petro-Canada Hall is scheduled to open in the spring of 2005.
A record number of alumni and friends gathered in Paton College Dining Hall for the 22nd Alumni Tribute Awards dinner in October, 2003. The Alumni Association singled out five outstanding alumni for special recognition. They presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to the Hon. T. Alex Hickman, OC, QC, MUC'44, LLB, LLD; the Professional Achievement Award to Lt.-Gen. Rick Hillier, B.Sc.'76, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force with NATO in Afghanistan; the Horizon Award for Lifetime Achievement (under 35 years) to Stephen Kent, BBA'0, Mayor Mount Pearl; the J.D. Eaton Award for outstanding (volunteer service) to Memorial University to Wayne Thistle, QC, B.Ed. '68, B.Sc. (Hons)'68, MA '71; lawyer; and the Outstanding Community Service Award to Maj. Dr. G. Dawn Howse , B.Med.Sc.'76, MD'78, Chief Medical Officer, Tshelanyemba Hospital, Zimbabwe.
The first annual Affinity Newfoundland and Labrador event celebrated in Toronto was so successful organizers were able to donate sufficient funds to endow a new Toronto Alumni scholarship. And, a dedicated group of alumni organizers grabbed public attention in the nation's capital for Memorial by staging the third annual affinity Newfoundland and Labrador event in Ottawa .
Memorial is rolling out a growing number of online services for its alumni. A new phase in electronic communications began in April 2004 with the unveiling of the newest Website for alumni. It includes access to free e-mail for alumni, a linked site for keeping in touch (the Online Community) and an archived monthly e-newsletter for alumni.
Memorial attracts top students because it is Canada 's largest comprehensive university on the east coast. Outstanding teaching and research enable students and faculty to go further in their work and in their lives. But what makes Memorial a truly great university is the community of alumni and friends who work for and with the university. The strong community of alumni and friends of Memorial help to add to Memorial's fine reputation.