April 12, 2021

UCalgary’s annual Giving Day fundraising blitz creates critical opportunities for students

For Madyson Schmidt, a summer research opportunity funded by philanthropy was a game-changer; 2021 edition of Giving Day happens on April 22
Madyson Schmidt
Madyson Schmidt

When the pandemic hit last spring, Madyson Schmidt — like so many students — found herself adrift in a sea of cancelled plans and confusion about what to do next. She had completed her second year of law school at UCalgary and was poised to dive into a work opportunity that would hone her skills and clarify the direction of her career as a lawyer.

“I’d had an interview but before I even knew if I had the summer job, I got a call saying it was no longer an option due to COVID,” says Madyson, who will convocate in June.

Uncertain and grappling with how to make the most of that crucial time in her academic life, Madyson was enormously surprised and relieved to learn that a number of research assistant positions had suddenly opened up in her faculty.

She swiftly secured an assistantship alongside Professor Jennifer Koshan, in the Faculty of Law, and spent her summer immersed in valuable research around how the pandemic has influenced the way the court systems are handling the rising number of domestic violence cases. “That work has had a profound positive effect on my research and communications skills.”

UCalgary for student experience

Those research positions were funded and nimbly put into place thanks in large part to philanthropic gifts made on UCalgary’s 2020 Giving Day. An annual fundraising initiative, Giving Day is unique in that donors’ gifts can have double the impact. All eligible gifts are matched, dollar for dollar, up to $2,500 per gift — but only while matching funds remain. Last year, Giving Day raised $1.3 million for student experiences, critical research and a variety of programs and initiatives — including COVID-19 research and student relief funds.

This year, Giving Day is on Thursday, April 22. All gifts made April 1 – 22 will count toward its final tally. Donors can support a particular area or cause that’s meaningful to them, or make a gift to the UCalgary Fund, which provides flexible funding for scholarships and bursaries, student space improvements, libraries, athletics and emerging priorities.

Whatever the size of your gift, every dollar counts toward making a difference to the campus community — including students like Madyson.