President's Report 2006 | Alumni

Year in summary

Dr. Axel Meisen

Message from Dr. Axel Meisen, President and Vice-Chancellor Memorial University of Newfoundland

This has been a good year for philanthropy at Memorial University. More than 5,250 alumni and friends (including individuals, corporations and foundations) donated $9.04 million to Memorial University in 2004-05. The total amount of outstanding pledges now stands at $13.8 million.

We were able to provide 1,484 scholarships, awards and bursaries totaling $2.15 million, up from 1,250 scholarships worth $1.9 million in the previous year.Among the most generous of our scholarship donors is the Fry Family Foundation. It also continues to be one of the largest contributors to student leadership development at Memorial. The endowed Graham Family Scholarship in French also grew this year thanks to donations from Memorial's former dean of Arts, Dr. David Graham and his mother, Kathleen Birchell. At the corporate level, Great West Life created a new endowed scholarship for students in the Faculty of Business Administration; and Chevron topped up an existing endowment and created a new endowed scholarship.

The Memorial University Faculty Association continued their generous support for students by funding six scholarships. Dr. Mary Pederson, a Medical school alumna, donated funds to create five new scholarships for students in Medicine. Dr. Jim Greenlee, a faculty member at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, donated a gift to create a prize in history for students of the College. Planned giving also contributed significantly to the number and value of scholarships at Memorial University.

The year was marked by a number of celebrations to commemorate the opening of new facilities including:

  • The Landmark Visualization Laboratory, made possible by a gift of specialized visualization software valued at $18 million from Landmark Graphics Corporation;
  • Petro-Canada Hall, funded largely by a $1.2 million contribution from Petro-Canada. With the financial support of philanthropist Mr. Roy Ash, we acquired a Kawai concert grand piano and several other smaller pianos. Mr. Steve Edwards, the owner of Music City, was most helpful with the acquisition of the instruments;
  • The Inco Innovation Centre, made possible largely by a $20 million donation from INCO. The Government of Canada invested more than $23 million through ACOA's Atlantic Innovation Fund and its Business Development Program.

The Marine Institute received a $500,000 donation from Irving Oil to support the development of a new facility for safety, emergency response and environmental training. Aker Maritime Kiewit Contractors donated the topside model of the SeaRose floating production, storage and offloading platform (a donation worth approximately $1 million), which now serves as a unique student learning-tool.

At Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, we created a special initiative that highlights collaboration between art and industry. To brighten the environment for the SeaRose crew, Dr. John Lau, president of Husky Energy, and his wife, Mrs. Heather Lau, selected 22 pieces of art specially created by the College's students. In recognition, Husky Energy is funding the SeaRose Travel Bursary, a travel grant of $2,000 to be awarded annually for the next 15 years to a fine arts student studying at Memorial University's Harlow campus in England.

Our donors – individuals, corporations and foundations alike – allow Memorial University to fulfill its commitment to innovation and growth for the benefit of the people in our province and beyond. On behalf of all members of the Memorial University community, I thank you, our donors, for your outstanding support.