Preparing to light the candles
By Mark Brown
Preparations are just beginning for Western's 125th anniversary although it is too early to say if it's going to be much of a party.
The event is going to involve a major fund-raising campaign starting in 1998 and running until 2003, the year of the anniversary, said Western's VP-external Ted Garrard.
Although the anniversary is not for another six years, Western is trying to get the details of the campaign in order. "It takes that long to plan," Garrard explained.
He added as part of the planning stage he will be meeting with departments to determine what projects could use external financial support.
"It takes a while to determine the priorities of the departments, done on a campaign-run basis [between the departments] and then we have to target within that," said James Bristow, executive director of Foundation Western.
Foundation Western will be responsible for the alumni component of the drive, he added.
"There are some faculties that have some needs the faculty of medicine [and the] faculty of engineering are areas of priority," said Susan Horvath, director of alumni relations and development.
Normally these departments would be working on their own fund-raising campaigns but the timing of the projects makes them likely beneficiaries of the campaign, she said.
"It will eventually involve the whole university," she added.
It is too soon to tell what the goal of this campaign will be since it is still in the planning stages, it will depend on what the projects are, Garrard added.
However, Garrard noted the last fund-raising drive of this nature, titled the Renaissance Campaign, raised $126 million between 1989 and 1994.
In comparison, the university has raised over $14 million, or about 66 per cent of its objective, according to the third-quarter report released Jan. 31, said Rosemary Lawrence-Pitt of advancement services.
Much of the money that is generated by these drives comes from corporate sponsors, Bristow said.
"There is a greater effort to target the corporate community [but] you don't do that on a yearly basis." He added the corporate community is approached on a 10-year cycle.
"There is a more concerted effort to meet with donors face-to-face," said Bristow, who added he expects staff to be beefed up for the event to handle the calling and the mail-outs associated with a drive of this sort.