emorial University launched its largest ever fund-raising
effort, The Opportunity Fund, in 1997. The goal was to raise $50
million to increase student scholarships and fellowships, to improve
student services facilities, and to support innovative teaching and
At the March 1997 launch Chancellor John C. Crosbie, campaign chairman,
kicked off the effort, announcing that $14.5 million had already been
pledged. Declaring that the generosity of private sector donors would be
met by that of the provincial government, Premier Brian Tobin committed
that the province would match, dollar for dollar, all other monetary
donations made to The Opportunity Fund — and challenged Chancellor
Crosbie to exceed the $50 million goal.
The Opportunity Fund
Supporting innovation in teaching and research
Facilities for health, fitness and athletics
||$ 8 million|
Enhancing student services facilities
The challenge was met. When the campaign period ended in December 1999,
close to $60 million had been pledged to The Opportunity Fund.
Generous donations have come from a variety of sources:
- At the start of the campaign, student leaders supported the plan to
dedicate a small portion of tuition fees, raising by the end of the
campaign a total of $3.2 million.
- University employees – staff and faculty – developed a number of
innovative fund-raising initiatives including payroll deduction
contributions, casual clothing days, scholarship drives, barbecues and
social gatherings, all with the goal to generate money for The
- Alumni and friends of the university in the province, throughout
Canada and around the world, also recognized the university's needs and
embraced the campaign. Their contributions, plus those of employees,
pensioners and other individuals, total an impressive $6.2 million donated
by 14,325 people and estates.
- The business community, provincially and nationally, showed
outstanding support for Memorial University and the province. Pledges
totalling $15.1 million have been received from the 691 corporations
participating in The Opportunity Fund.
- More than 200 groups and foundations have invested $4.5 million in the
province's only university.
- Matching the generosity of private sector donors, the provincial
government has pledged close to $30 million.
Sources of Funding
Sources of Funding |
The results of this fund raising effort are evident throughout the
- Since the campaign began, 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
- 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
commenced on the $13 million Field House sports and recreation complete —
with indoor running and walking tracks, multipurpose playing area
and seating for 2,000 — scheduled for completion in late 2001.
- More than $10 million has been dedicated to innovative teaching and
research initiatives throughout the university.
By all measures, The Opportunity Fund has been 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.