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UCalgary's inaugural Giving Day exceeds goal

Initiative supports about 170 student scholarships, including the creation of 120 new awards
May 4, 2017
Dean Jackie Sieppert from the Faculty of Social Work joined our student callers on April 27 to advocate for his students. Photo by Tierney Edmunds, Alumni and Development Engagement

Dean Jackie Sieppert from the Faculty of Social Work joined our student callers on April 27 to advocate for his students. Photo by Tierney Edmunds, Development and Alumni Engagement

In celebration of our 50th anniversary, the University of Calgary led a bold initiative: Create 50 new scholarships in 50 hours for our first-ever Giving Day. The numbers are in and, from all accounts, it was a huge success that saw faculty, staff, community members, alumni and students band together to help us achieve our goal.

And we didn’t just meet our goal. Thanks to the overwhelming support, our inaugural Giving Day saw more than 1,200 donors contribute more than $1 million.

“As we progressed through the 50 hours, it was inspiring and humbling to see the outpouring of support and generosity from our community,” says Nuvyn Peters, vice-president of Development and Alumni Engagement. “Supporting student scholarships unlocks the door to post-secondary education for many. Throughout this campaign, we continue to see how philanthropy transforms student experiences.”

The buzz carried over to social media, too. As we launched Giving Day on April 27, #UCalgaryGivingDay was trending at No. 2 in Calgary on Twitter. The online campaign was also enhanced by videos that demonstrated the impact of scholarships and its power to transform lives.

Our student callers were hard at work spreading the news about Giving Day as well, with a few special visitors from faculty leaders and staff. On Thursday, Jackie Sieppert, dean of the Faculty of Social Work joined in to advocate for his students. On Friday, deans Bill Rosehart from the Schulich School of Engineering and Jim Dewald from Haskayne School of Business went head-to-head to see which dean had the greatest reach. To see who came out on top, check the slideshow below.

As a result of Giving Day, more students will be able to access support and immerse themselves in the University of Calgary’s culture. Scholarships allow students to become more engaged in their studies, on campus and in the community, allowing them to pursue their passion and spark change in our world.

The success of Giving Day also contributes to Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High. Our largest fundraising campaign to date aims to raise $1.3 billion in support of student experiences, research outcomes to benefit society and community connections. To learn more about the campaign’s progress to date, check out our most recent update.