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Don’t link the tower, tuition

(January 13, 2000, Gazette)

Dear Editor,
Please allow me to correct an impression that may have been left by your student columnist in the Dec. 16 issue of the Gazette.

Kelley Power’s comments (In protest of passivity) seemed to suggest that the funds used to build the Memorial Tower now under construction might be better used to reduce student tuition fees.

The tower, in fact, is a gift from the Johnson Family Foundation, which sought to create a highly visible landmark and monument for the St. John’s Campus. Around the exterior base of the tower will be an area known as the Memorial Court, marking the extraordinary contributions of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who died in the war and for whom this university is named. The foundation, also well-known for its generosity in developing the Grand Concourse system of walkways in the St. John’s region, made this gift to Memorial’s Opportunity Fund fund-raising campaign specifically for this purpose and so funds could only have been used for the tower.

However, the matching funds from the provincial government (which is matching each campaign donation dollar-for-dollar) are supporting the other initiatives of the campaign, including increasing scholarships to help address student debt, which is one of the issues your commentator addressed.

Gordon Slade
Executive Director
The Opportunity Fund