September 23, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 14  

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Campaign Western hits jackpot

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

Matt Prince/Gazette
AC/DC LIKED IT AND SO DOES CAMPAIGN WESTERN: WE'RE TALKIN' BOUT MONEY. A bunch of important looking people, including a Golden Girl, a student politico and a French Knight, display their gigantic sign at the Great Hall.

Members of Western elite convened at Great Hall last Friday to announce that Campaign Western has raised $278 million - hopefully administration will remember the wise words of Notorious B.I.G., "mo' money, mo' problems."

Western's cheerleading team was present to announce the amount collected by volunteer fundraisers. Although they could not be reached for comment, they did seem enthusiastic over the accomplishment, enough to throw each other around in the air.

"We made a commitment to raise $270 million," said Western President Paul Davenport, adding the fundraising drive will continue for the next seven months until the official end of the campaign.

"This was and continues to be a symbol of the broad support for Western," said Bill Brock, chair of Campaign Western, noting a large portion of the donations came from private individuals as opposed to corporations and foundations.

According to Brock, Campaign Western was inspired by a similar fundraising drive organized by the University of Toronto administration and over the last four years has proven a successful method of raising money for Western.

Brock pointed out Campaign Western is the first time Western alumni were systematically targeted for donations and there is a potential for more donations from that group if efforts are expanded to tap alumni that have not yet been contacted. "We've just scratched the surface of the alumni," he added.

The campaign is not over yet, noted Brock, citing there are currently several other donors negotiating to donate funds to the university and there will always be a need for funds.

Campaign Western was initiated because there was a need recognized six or seven years ago, explained Davenport, adding the need to gather funds came with the expansion to accommodate more students and as a result of lack of provincial funding.

"At the same time [over] the last two years provincial funding to Western and other universities has been improved," Davenport said, noting the fundraising drive has and will hopefully increase funding from private sources as well as public sources.

According to Davenport, the money raised by Campaign Western will also greatly benefit students in terms of new academic programs, more teachers being hired and the scholarships and bursaries that will be created with the donations.

"It means further enhancing the accessibility of Western," said University Students' Council President Paul Yeoman, noting with decreased government funding students must worry about increasing debt.

Students played a prominent role in contributing to the campaign with payments to the USC through endowment funds, Yeoman stated, adding they now continue with their education.



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