Donors stay true with support

The University of Lethbridge's 2008 fundraising results show that a healthy $7 million was raised to support more than 200 separate areas on campus – from scholarships and bursaries to research projects and equipment purchases that will make a significant difference to students and researchers.

"Despite challenging economic times that have had an impact globally, the U of L has had one of the best years ever, thanks to our generous contributors," said President Bill Cade. "Our dedicated donors made this year such a success, and we are truly grateful."

"There is no doubt that as times get tough we need individuals and private businesses to show leadership and confidence through continued investment in our community," Cade added.

"The support provided to the University is a great example of this leadership. We are building something very special here at the University of Lethbridge – something our community can be proud of. I think the support we received this past year shows they are already proud."

In 2008, more than 3,200 gifts were received from alumni, friends, students, and current and retired employees, with 69 per cent of those gifts destined to help students directly through student awards.

Donor generosity also enabled the University to obtain more than $3 million in matching funds from the Government of Alberta through the Access to the Future Fund.

Since 2005, more than $9 million has been directed toward the University of Lethbridge for scholarships, bursaries and support to the institution as a result of the province's matching program.

Generous University of Lethbridge supporters featured in the 2008 Donor Report include:

- Glenn Varzari, a local Chartered Accountant, and his spouse Janice Varzari, a U of L Senator, member of the Alumni Honour Society and a counselor with Lethbridge Family Services, who supported the new Markin Hall building project for the Faculty of Management and School of Health Sciences. Their gift was matched by both the Chartered Accountants Education Foundation and the Access to the Future Fund.

- Calgary-based oil and gas entrepreneurs Darol and Evelyn Wigham, who have supported the University for many years with scholarships, bursaries and books for the Faculty of Education library. Their most recent gift helped researchers at the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience acquire specific equipment for a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) facility.

- Internationally renowned Canadian operatic tenor -- and U of L Honorary degree recipient -- Dr. Ben Heppner, whose benefit concert in Lethbridge established an endowment for U of L music students. More than $50,000 was raised for an award that will encourage students to pursue the performing arts.

- Charlene Janes, a staff member in the U of L International Centre for Students, who has established a bursary for international students. Charlene is one of more than 280 U of L faculty, staff and retirees, who have contributed towards Supporting Our Students 2008, an annual campaign to raise money for student awards.

- Nexen Inc. and Imperial Oil, which gave to support water research initiatives. When matched through the Access to the Future Fund, their support resulted in a combined $1 million investment in water research at the U of L.