UNB enjoys banner year for alumni support
The past supporting the present
With the support of its alumni, and with additional backing from the New Brunswick Opportunities Fund, the University of New Brunswick raised the second largest sum in its history last year.
Thanks to the contributions of 5000 former graduates, UNB collected $25 million in 2011-12.
“Beyond the gifts themselves, the implicit message behind them is deeply encouraging,” said Eddy Campbell, president of UNB. “That’s 5000 people who believe in this university. It’s 5000 people who chose to support us, despite other obligations, and despite difficult financial times.”
Over 90 per cent of gifts received by UNB come from its alumni.
“Alumni give out of a feeling of deep connection to UNB - a sense of stewardship, really. UNB is ours, and it will forever be ours. We want to see it succeed and we want the students who enter its halls to succeed as well,” said the president of UNB’s Associated Alumni Heather Neilson.
The ones who benefit most
Donations to the university are often targeted to a variety of initiatives and programs that support students, faculty, and research, such as equipment, library holdings, athletics, research support, or other resources for faculties and departments.
“These gifts improve the space in which we live, learn, research, and work,” said Campbell.
Although donations are beneficial to everyone at the university, Campbell says the ones who benefit most are the students.
Danielle Losier, a Kinesiology student and athlete with the Varsity Reds swim team, says donations and sponsorship are what helps her balance school and athletics.
“We have a very hectic swim schedule, and to not have to worry about maintaining a part time job over the school year has really helped me focus on both my school and my swimming, and it’s helped me excel in both,” she says.
Over the past ten years, $52.3 million in donations have been directed to students through financial assistance.
In addition to the support of alumni, the New Brunswick Opportunities Fund has played a role in helping students pursue post-secondary education. The provincial government gives UNB an additional 50 cents for every dollar raised in support of students in financial need.
World-class facilities and faculty
David Lentz, the economic geology chair in the Department of Earth Sciences, says donations have helped UNB grow in stature in Canada.
“Our lab-related environment, our research equipment, is some of the best in the world, which has actually allowed us to maintain some of the best faculty,” says Lentz. “We’re producing excellent graduate students and phenomenally gifted undergraduate students. They support every level of faculty, and it’s really moving because that’s not the way it’s always been.”
A more recent donation, from the McCain family, allowed UNB to establish the Andrew and Margery McCain Human Performance Lab.
The world-class facility allows UNB’s research team to examine human movement and develop solutions for impaired movement.
“It’s provided our graduates with a wonderful research space, enhanced our undergraduate teaching labs, and overall has improved our research program within the faculty, and something that we can build on in the future years,” says associate professor of Kinesiology Usha Kuruganti.