BY BILL PHILLIPS
The message was clear to UNBC alumni, current and about to be, the university will expect you give back.
About 50 people showed up Thursday morning as the university launched the public phase of its first comprehensive fundraising campaign. The $15-million Northern Leadership campaign will support priorities that will bolster UNBC’s leadership as one of Canada’s best small research-intensive universities, said UNBC president Dr. Daniel Weeks, one day before the annual convocation ceremonies.
“Convocation is that time when the university celebrates the fulfilment of all the purposes that we have here … that’s really our purpose,” Weeks said. “This campaign will make that commitment even greater in the future.”
The Northern Leadership campaign began in late 2014 and the goal is well over half way complete with $13 million raised. The campaign is focused on three key priorities: to strengthen research and teaching excellence, to inspire next-generation leaders and to create local solutions with global impact.
It is the largest fundraising campaign in the history of the university, said Weeks.
“Through our first class research and scholarship, we are transforming the region while also tackling issues far beyond our borders,” he said. “ … Our alumni are leading change around the world.
Funds raised support research at UNBC in areas as diverse as tall wood building engineering, research forests and rural and northern health.
The campaign will ensure more students are educated at UNBC so they are prepared to lead. Fundraising will provide new opportunities for experiential learning, help students from rural and First Nations communities transition to university life, and grow scholarships and bursaries for students.
The Northern Leadership Campaign will also raise funds for unique projects that have a positive impact locally and resonate internationally, like the Sustainable Communities Demonstration Project.
“UNBC is already Canada’s Number 1 small university,” said Tracey Wolsey, chair of the UNBC Board of Governors and a UNBC graduate. “The Northern Leadership campaign will enhance the university’s success.”
UNBC Chancellor James Moore was also on hand to thank donors who have already given and to encourage others give to the fundraising campaign.
“We certainly are very proud, as an institution when we say Maclean’s magazine has ranked us No. 1 in Canada for small institutions and we should be proud of our success,” said Moore. “But it doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because we have remarkable faculty. It happens because we have staff and leadership who, on a daily basis, contribute to the university in remarkable ways. It happens because we have students who explore, and learn, and breathe life into this institution on a daily basis. But it also happens because of the donations and the financial support we have from all across the city, the region, the province, the country.”
International artist and sculptor K.A. Colorado was also on hand as it was announced several of his works of art will be permanently displayed at the university. Colorado has spent the last two decades working in various climatic conditions throughout the world, using ice and snow as both a medium and a subject.
“From working in Antarctica and the Patagonia ice fields, to creating snow sculpture in Valois, France, to imbedding one of his ‘Kyoto Protocol’ Ice Core Sculptures in the cauldron of a volcano in South America, K.A. Colorado has performed art installations all around the globe and created art that has dealt with the global conditions associated with climate change,” according to his website. “His artwork has taken him atop precarious icebergs, alongside rugged mountains in alpine regions, and into the hot desert. He has fabricated steel pyramids in Culiacan, Mexico, carved monumental stone in the Czech Republic, and created the first-ever kinetic snow sculpture which was unveiled in Perm, Russia near the Ural Mountains.”
Campaign priorities and ways to give can be found at www.unbc.ca/northern-leadership
The Northern Leadership campaign is UNBC’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign.
A comprehensive campaign means the campaign is raising funds for many priorities at the University. All donations made to UNBC during the campaign period, regardless of designation, will count towards the overall campaign goal of $15 million.
The quiet phase of the campaign began in 2014, during which time the University engaged in planning, goal setting and meeting with stakeholders. The public phase launched on May 25, 2017 and will continue until the campaign is complete.
UNBC is launching the campaign because the University has both an opportunity and a responsibility to continue to grow its reach and inspire positive change nationally and internationally, while never losing sight of the important and unique needs of Northern British Columbia.
Campaign funds are already being used to strengthen existing teaching and research activities and are growing scholarship and bursary opportunities at UNBC. Future contributions will provide the University with the opportunity to launch new projects.
The campaign has three overarching themes: Strengthen research and teaching excellence; Inspire next-generation leaders and Create local solutions with global impact.
Within each theme are specific priorities the University has identified. The campaign website includes descriptions of each priority, please visit the following links to learn more: