$805M response to campaign builds ‘Extraordinary’ legacy

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Western’s Be Extraordinary Campaign, the most ambitious campaign in the university’s history, has raised a record-breaking $805 million.

The tally, announced at a campaign celebration Friday morning, stems from a decade of work, generosity and the collective energy of more than 49,000 alumni and friends, faculty, staff, students, volunteers and corporate partners who supported the goal of strengthening Western’s role on the global stage.

The campaign has helped Western increase support for students, attract the world’s top talent to help build on nationally and internationally recognized research strengths, increase international opportunities for students and build world-class facilities.

“I have been amazed by the generosity of our donors and I am thrilled with how the campus has come together in support of Western,” said Campaign Chair, Geoff Beattie, LLD’84. “We started this Campaign with a goal of $750 million and, through dedication and hard work, we’ve managed to accomplish something truly remarkable. This is a proud day for me, and for Western.”

Don’t ever question the extent of leadership, or generosity, or commitment or the drive that exists within this university community.” – Geoff Beattie, Campaign Chair

“One of the moments we had 10 years ago was the ambition and the desire to invest and build in the future of this university. We needed to ensure we had a story,  a vision and a commitment to excellence. Once we had that, we were confident we could take that and explain why Western was such a special place.”

The campaign focused on building strength in four areas:

  • Support for students, including increased wellness and mental health services, workshops and programing, enhanced opportunities in classrooms, laboratories and playing fields, and leadership opportunities off campus and around the world;
  • Enhanced research capabilities and capacity, through fundamental and applied discovery with real-world applications;
  • World-class facilities, where scholars and visitors can work and learn in state-of-the-art buildings, labs, libraries and performance halls.
  • International learning, so that students are equipped to lead and innovate in Canada and around the world

“The commitment was remarkable by any measure,” said Western President Amit Chakma.

“We asked our supporters to help us be extraordinary, and they delivered,” said Chakma. “Together we have created a university with a sharpened focus, and continued a legacy of exceptional teaching and research. Together, we have made Western stronger. We are immensely grateful to our donors and friends – this historic accomplishment would not have been possible without them.”

At the campaign celebration, Michael Lee, a third-year student in Medical Sciences, thanked the donors, whose gift, he said, represented “hope and kindness.”

Lee came to Canada in 2007 from South Korea after his parents sold their home. “They had one resolve, and that was to give their children a chance at a better life,” he noted.

Four part-time jobs prevented Lee from attending all his classes in first year.

“I managed to get through school by spending all of my spare time studying,” he said.

In second year, he received an award  for academic excellence and financial need.

“The award gave me courage, the confidence to reach higher.”

Videos and more information about the tangible impact of the campaign can be found at extraordinary.westernu.ca/impact/

By the numbers:

  • $805,668,372 million raised, exceeding the goal by more than $55 million
  • 128,310 gifts
  • 49, 204 donors
  • Donors from 107 different countries

Supporting students:

  • $118.1 million in new scholarships, awards and bursaries
  • $3.7 million raised for international learning experiences

Building research strengths:

  • 50 new research chairs established
  • $74.5 million given to support research chairs
  • $247 million raised for research

Building world-class facilities:

  • 9 new, state-of-the-art buildings
  • $102.3 million in commitments to infrastructure spending.