The Viewpoint Circle for Dialogue at the heart of the new Mathison Hall.
The Viewpoint Circle for Dialogue at the heart of the new Mathison Hall. Renderings courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects.

April 16, 2021

Haskayne receives $2M gift to support student learning and leadership in new Mathison Hall

Viewpoint Circle for Dialogue will be a stunning space for students and community

At the heart of the new Mathison Hall, will be a unique space — a circular 84-person room that reimagines the classroom experience — to bring people together for important discussions, lessons and gatherings.

Today, the University of Calgary is proud to announce it has received a $2-million gift from Mac and Susan Van Wielingen, through Viewpoint Foundation, in support of the Haskayne Capital Expansion Project and the construction of Mathison Hall.

In recognition of their gift, the striking round room will be named the Viewpoint Circle for Dialogue. An architecturally stunning space, the room floats in the centre of the new Mathison Hall and will become an instantly recognizable destination for its circular design that brings its occupants together like no other indoor environment can. It will be in high demand as a classroom, governance meeting room and gathering space.

Level 2 atrium looking south: This striking round room will be named the Viewpoint Circle for Dialogue, in recognition of the $2 million gift from Mac and Susan Van Wielingen, through Viewpoint Foundation.

Renderings courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects

Investment management executive and philanthropist Mac Van Wielingen says the gift will support ethical leadership and organizational effectiveness.

“We see leadership ethics and effectiveness as critical fundamentals for organizational and institutional success. Ethical leadership requires the receiving, holding and exploring of multiple and often opposing perspectives. The circular design of the room captures the spirit of intention to hear and comprehend perspectives from diverse backgrounds and different positions. This design will help participants to reach new understanding, to have higher levels of trust, and to support a higher probability of successful decisions and effective actions,” he says.

Our hope is that this space will contribute to more inspired and co-operative dialogue to create insight and knowledge critical to education and to the discovery of pathways and solutions to complex community and societal challenges.

Mathison Hall is currently under construction adjacent to Scurfield Hall and will open in late 2022 as the second building for the Haskayne School of Business. The student-centred learning environment will feature 12 classrooms and multiple spaces for students to learn, meet and work — all of which are critical in supporting the growth of the school’s programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Viewpoint Circle for Dialogue will be about promoting diversity, inclusion and equity. It has ventilation to allow for Indigenous smudging ceremonies and was designed to be transparent, flexible and open for many uses. 

“Business needs diverse voices around the table in order to have robust and healthy discussions, and the Viewpoint Circle for Dialogue will be an integral part of Mathison Hall for our students and for the business community,” says Haskayne Dean Jim Dewald.

Level 3 Center For Dialogue

Level 3: An architecturally stunning space, the room floats in the centre of the new Mathison Hall and will become an instantly recognizable destination. It will be in high demand as a classroom, governance meeting room and gathering space.

Renderings courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects

In 2012, after the financial collapse and the lack of ethical leadership that created the crisis in the first place, Viewpoint Foundation made a generous gift to the university to create the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business. The foundation has given more than $7 million to the University of Calgary, and inspired other Calgary business leaders to give another $10 million to support mentorship, adventure education and leadership initiatives at Haskayne.

“The legacy of Viewpoint Foundation and the Van Wielingen family will be long-lasting and impactful,” says Dewald. “Mac and Susan have been incredible supporters of the Haskayne School of Business through the years and I am awed by their continual support, inspired by their vision, and more than anything I am so very thankful to them for supporting our students today and for generations to come.”

The $2 million gift announced today contributes to the $40 million fundraising goal for the Haskayne Capital Expansion Project. Having raised over $28.5 million to date, the school is seeking another $11.5 million of philanthropic support to achieve our goal for the $90-million Mathison Hall.

The money raised for the capital expansion project is part of Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, UCalgary’s transformative fundraising initiative. Fueled by the generosity of UCalgary’s friends and supporters, we are igniting discovery, creativity and innovation to make lasting positive change at the University of Calgary, in our city and beyond

Want to learn more? Visit https://haskayne.ucalgary.ca/haskayne-capital-expansion


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