Nov. 1, 2013
$25 million donation to newly named Werklund School of Education
The University of Calgary’s ability to transform teaching and learning across Canada is expanding thanks to an historic $25 million donation by Dr. David P. Werklund to name the Werklund School of Education.
The donation, which is the largest ever received by a faculty of education in Canada, will enhance learning opportunities for current and future teachers, and ensure the University of Calgary continues to drive change in education across Alberta and beyond.
The Werklund gift supports the University of Calgary’s Eyes High strategic direction to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016, grounded in innovative teaching and learning, and fully integrated with the community of Calgary.
“It was my great honour to announce this gift today from one of Calgary’s true leaders and visionaries,” said University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon. “This unprecedented gift from David Werklund is an absolute game changer for our university as it allows us to provide an enriched experience for education students, faculty and the community that would not be possible otherwise. It will also support cutting-edge research into the best educational methods, helping students of all ability levels learn.”
Inspired by passion for helping youth succeed
Werklund has a lifelong passion for education and helping youth succeed. His support has already led to the establishment of the Werklund Foundation Centre for Youth Leadership Education at the University of Calgary, which focuses on research, teaching and community service for youth who may otherwise go unnoticed.
“In school, I never felt like I was a strong student. Looking back, I see now that I was much more successful in class than I had ever realized. I just needed someone to encourage me to gain my own confidence in my own skills,” said Werklund, a well-known entrepreneur, oilfield-industry leader and 2013 inductee to both the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame and the Calgary Business Hall of Fame.
“Through the Werklund School of Education, I would like to see teachers given tools to help them truly connect with their students. Teachers have a responsibility as leaders to create an environment and culture where young people feel valued. When it comes to student development and creating this culture of acceptance, I believe the University of Calgary is really making headway,” Werklund added.
Historic donation expands resources for students, faculty
The Werklund School of Education will provide new scholarships for education students and establish a Student Activities Fund to allow undergraduates to attend educational conferences and access graduate-level research. The school will also look to develop international teaching exchanges as part of the University of Calgary’s International Strategy. New educational technologies will also be purchased to enhance the student experience.
Faculty members within the Werklund School of Education will have access to additional resources to take their educational research to the next level. Thanks to this gift, a new Teaching Innovation Fund will be established to provide additional research grants and support outreach activities. There will also be additional professional development opportunities for faculty members and a new Werklund Teaching Excellence Award will be created to recognize the leading work of faculty and inspire future innovations.
“The Werklund School of Education will be inclusive, interdisciplinary and innovative,” said Werklund School of Education Dean Dennis Sumara. “The Werklund School of Education is about recognizing the strengths of all students and building an educational system for who they are, and what they need to succeed.”