Propelling Huron forward
By Becky Somerville
Increased tuition and government cutbacks have lead to a $5 million capital campaign launched by Huron College to increase services to students and provide a facelift for the college.
As part of an initiative to update for the 21st century, Huron is looking to friends of the college, Anglican clergy, foundations, corporations and alumni for funding support, said David Bevan, principal of Huron College.
"There are certain things we can't do out of our operating budget," he said. "We're very conscious that with students paying more fees, they are entitled to more service."
Bevan said Huron has a commitment to provide its students with small classes and a high degree of personal access to faculty, but the college needs more than that to keep up with other universities.
"It's very competitive out there. People who apply to Huron also apply to Queen's and [the University of Toronto]. We have to find ways of increasing our endowments."
Ken Andrews, campaign director and director of alumni and development at Huron, said the campaign was very unifying for the college and showed its enthusiasm, commitment and energy.
"The Great Minds and Great Hearts Campaign, as it is called, will serve above all to enhance Huron as a small, prestigious, residential college where students are encouraged to grow intellectually," Andrews said.
Bevan said funds from the campaign will go towards improving technological access for research and teaching as well as the refurbishment of one of the residences.
Many of the changes have already taken place or are underway, Bevan said. In addition to changes to the physical plant, part of the money will be allocated to bursaries and scholarships, he added.
Of the $5 million, roughly $2 million worth of pledges have already been received, Bevan said. He added the next step in the campaign is to seek internal support from faculty, staff and students of the college.
Huron College Students' Council president Bill Simpson said the council was preparing to put forward a proposal to the student body in the form of a referendum in the new year.
"It would call on students to make a contribution to the campaign on a yearly basis for five years," Simpson said. He added if the referendum passed, students would be asked to contribute $50 annually and an income tax receipt would be issued.
A yearly contribution by students for a five-year period would comprise roughly 4.5 per cent of the total contribution, he said. "I think generally students are supportive of the plan."