Year in Summary for Alumni Affairs and Development
Alumni and Friends Supporting Memorial
2004-05 was an outstanding year for Memorial University. There were 5,250 alumni and friends of Memorial, including individuals, corporations and foundations, who donated $9.04 million. The total commitment to Memorial on outstanding pledges now stands at $13.8 million.
The university increased financial aid available to students in the form of scholarships, bursaries and grants. In 2004, Memorial University awarded 1,484 scholarships, totalling $2.15 million (compared with 1,250 scholarships worth $1.9 million in 2003.) This positive growth is an indication that the target of 2,500 scholarships is within reach. This growth is imperative to help university students lessen their debt loads and to continue attracting exceptional students in a highly competitive market.
Another generous gift came from Dr. Mary Pederson, a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine. She generously donated a gift to create five new scholarships for students of that faculty. The range and generosity of gifts from alumni and friends of Memorial for the benefit of students is truly inspiring. The Fry Family Foundation continues to be one of the largest contributors to leadership at Memorial. The endowed Graham Family Scholarship in French continues to grow with ongoing donations from Memorial's former Dean of Arts David Graham and from his mother Kathleen Birchell.
Meanwhile, this year Great West Life created a new endowed scholarship for the Faculty of Business Administration and Chevron topped up its existing endowment and created a new endowed scholarship.
Students of the School of Music were the beneficiaries of a major gift in March of 2005 when the ribbon to the Petro-Canada Hall, a new state of the art music rehearsal and performance space in the M.O. Morgan Music Building, was cut. The Hall is funded largely by a $1.2 million contribution from Petro-Canada. This modern facility has far-reaching benefits not for only students and faculty, but also for the provincial music community effectively doubling available rehearsal space on campus and providing the technology that enables distance collaboration - whether it's around the block or around the world. Friend of memorial Mr. Roy Ash also made a substantial contribution to the Petro-Canada Hall. When he heard Dr. Tom Gordon's passionate address to the Kiwanis Club in St. John's last year, he decided to help. With the financial support of Mr. Ash, and with the assistance of Music City and Steve Edwards, the Kawai series EX concert grand piano that now sits in the Petro-Canada Hall, was purchased in Quebec City where it had served as a concert instrument for the last two years Dr. Philip Bording assumed his seat this year as the first the Husky Energy Chair in Oil and Gas Research. His is the first fully endowed chair at Memorial thanks to a gift of $2 million from Husky Energy.
This year saw the fulfillment of a project that began last year when Landmark Graphics Corporation donated specialized visualization equipment valued at $18 million. A state-of-the-art immersive visualization facility opened April 27, 2005. It is the only research laboratory of its kind in a Canadian university and will enable the analysis of images created from huge volumes of data.
The Inco Innovation Centre was officially handed over to the university by the contractor, April 1, 2005 and the work began in earnest to equip and populate the multi-million dollar centre, which was made possible by a $20 million pledge from Inco. The Atlantic Innovation Fund pledged an additional $13.1 million for the centre. When the centre opens in September 2005, the refurbished building, once the Thompson Student Centre, will be a major facility for fostering ingenuity and innovation in a wide range of disciplines.
Among the more interesting donations this year was the topsides model of White Rose's SeaRose FPSO, valued at approximately $1 million. The donation by Aker Maritime Kiewit Contractors is a custom-built, scale plastic model of the SeaRose FPSO topsides, consisting of 16 topside modules and the ship deck. The company used this model to support their detailed engineering and fabrication work in Newfoundland. The model will serve as a unique learning tool for offshore-training clients and ship-design students at Memorial's Marine Institute.
It is the generosity of donors that support these positive changes. Memorial is fully committed to its role as a leader in the growth and development of Newfoundland and Labrador.