In September 2011, UBC publicly launched the most ambitious fundraising and alumni engagement campaign in Canadian history.
Our original goals were to double the number of alumni involved annually in the life of the university by 2015, and to raise $1.5 billion in support of student learning, research excellence, and community engagement. I am happy to report that start an evolution has exceeded those goals by a considerable margin.
None of this would have been possible without the hard work that you, our dedicated Vancouver and Okanagan faculty, staff, and emeriti, put in every day to help our university grow and thrive. You gave your time, expertise, and energy to help the campaign succeed, and donated nearly $15 million to help UBC create solutions to the issues you care about.
In this final campaign report you will find highlights of what you have helped to accomplish. Whether it is students creating change in their home communities using the skills they have gained at UBC, researchers discovering new materials that transform technology and enable the founding of new industries, or alumni reconnecting with their university, the impact of your contributions can be felt on our campuses and in communities across BC, Canada, and the world.
When I think of all that has been achieved and look to UBC’s exciting future, I am filled with pride and gratitude for your ongoing passion for our university. Though the campaign has concluded, the legacies you have created will continue to make a lasting and positive difference to the generations that follow us.
Dr. Martha C. Piper
President and Vice-Chancellor
The University of British Columbia
Wilbert R. “Ted” Danner began teaching geology at UBC in 1954 and established the Beer-Pop Can-Bottle Deposit Refund Award in 1989 using proceeds from the return of bottles and cans collected on weekly scavenging treks on UBC’s Vancouver Campus.
“Ted taught UBC’s introductory geology course for many years,” says geologist and entrepreneur Ross Beaty, a former student of Danner and executor of his estate. “He was a quirky, enthusiastic professor who inspired many students to go into the geosciences, including myself. What a wonderful legacy he’s now left for UBC and future generations of geologists.”
The new student union building, The Nest, is one such student-led initiative to improve campus life. The old SUB was no longer meeting the needs of a campus that had doubled its student population since that building was erected 45 years ago. In a 2008 AMS referendum, UBC students agreed to make the largest single donation to the start an evolution campaign – a remarkable contribution of $85 million towards the cost of the new building.
Dr. Haakon Nygaard, UBC’s new Fipke Professor in Alzheimer’s Research, says Alzheimer’s affects everybody, not just those afflicted with it. “It’s everyone’s disease,” he says. “The economic impact and societal burden is so massive.” Dr. Nygaard hopes to speed up the quest to find new treatments thanks largely in part to a leadership gift to UBC’s start an evolution campaign.
Charles Fipke, whose geological discoveries made Canada one of the leading producers of diamonds, has pledged a total of $9.1 million to the Faculty of Medicine, a portion of which endowed Dr. Nygaard’s professorship at UBC and equipped his lab with cutting-edge equipment.