May 20, 2004  
Volume 98, Issue 01  

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Campaign Western raises over $300-million

By Megan O’Toole
Gazette Staff
Marshall Bellamy/Gazette
IF YOU CAN READ THIS AMOUNT OUT LOUD, YOU’RE PROBABLY SMART ENOUGH TO COME TO WESTERN. Western President Paul Davenport and his Campaign Western team hold a banner displaying the campaign’s final total, compiled over the last four years.


In a ceremony held in Conron Hall on May 6, Campaign Western chair Bill Brock publicly announced that over $300-million has been raised in private donations to Western since September 2000.

A dramatic unveiling of a Western banner printed with the exact total — a whopping $327,372,962 — effectively highlighted the announcement.

The ceremony kicked off in light-hearted fashion with the musical stylings of the “Jingle King” Don Wright, benefactor of Western’s Don Wright Faculty of Music.

“What an honour it is to be here on such a fabulous occasion with all the bigwigs,” Wright joked before launching into a series of jingles to warm up the audience.

Deeming Campaign Western “the most ambitious and successful campaign in our university’s history,” Western President Paul Davenport explained the funds were directed toward six priority theme areas.

According to Davenport, approximately $71-million is being given directly to Western students in the form of 550 new student awards and 1,500 new Ontario Graduate Scholarships in the fields of science and technology.

Close to $50-million is designated for recruiting and retaining top faculty, while an approximate $62-million will ensure delivery of superior academic programs “to respond to the needs of students and the needs of society,” he said.

Other major areas that will receive funding injections include expanding research capacities on campus, enriching the campus and community environment, and meeting “what the university identifies as high priority needs,” Davenport added.

Davenport also highlighted the recent donation by Seymour Schulich to Western’s medical school, noting the enormous $26-million gift is meant to ensure accessibility to medical education.

“[These donations] allow us to plan Western’s future with greater certainty,” Davenport said.
London Deputy Mayor Tom Gosnell spoke at the ceremony on the importance of the relationship between Western and the City of London.

“[The campaign] has a generational impact,” Gosnell said. “This helps not only our generation, but generations to come.”

Brock noted the tremendous surge of support from alumni was a significant factor in Campaign Western’s massive success.

He added that while Campaign Western is over, Western’s priorities and needs are not. “Fundraising must continue,” Brock said.

“I can say in all honesty I did not think we’d reach such a high total,” Davenport commented. “We underestimated the degree to which alumni would step forward. They donated more than half the funds raised.”

Davenport added that new fundraising goals and priorities will be announced this fall at Homecoming.
“We will continue fundraising year in and year out,” Davenport said. “Around 2009 or 2010 we’ll be ready for another campaign. It’s a process that can only build over time.”



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