Oct. 21, 2013

University celebrates single largest corporate donation in its history

Canadian Natural Resources Limited invests $7 million in education of future engineers

The University of Calgary announced the single largest corporate donation in its history.

The University of Calgary announced the single largest corporate donation in its history.

Riley Brandt

The University of Calgary has announced the single largest corporate donation in the institution’s history. Canadian Natural Resources Limited has contributed $7 million to the Schulich School of Engineering. The gift will enable the school to provide exceptional learning experiences for students and to create an environment in which engineering experts thrive, leading to groundbreaking and widely recognized research.

Taking part in the event celebrating the donation are, from left: Donna Kennedy-Glans, MLA for Calgary-Varsity; Bonnie DuPont, chair of the University of Calgary’s Board of Governors; Steve Laut, president of Canadian Natural Resources Limited; Elizabeth Cannon, president of the University of Calgary; Murray Edwards, Canadian Natural Resources Limited board chair; Jim Dinning, chancellor; Christina Scott, a fourth-year student in the Schulich School of Engineering and project manager for the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race; and Bill Rosehart, interim dean, Schulich School of Engineering

At a time when demand for engineers is on the rise in a number of industries, this gift will help educate and prepare highly skilled engineers, ensuring Alberta remains vibrant and economically competitive.

“Today’s announcement represents an exciting new chapter in the Schulich School of Engineering’s evolving stature as a leader in learning, teaching and research,” Elizabeth Cannon, president of the University of Calgary, said on Friday. “This significant gift from Canadian Natural Resources Limited, coupled with the community support we receive from our many generous donors, helps move the University of Calgary toward its Eyes High goals. I want to sincerely thank Canadian Natural and all of our generous donors.”

The newly named Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex will serve as the hub of teaching, learning and research within the Schulich School of Engineering, providing tools and resources to enhance the education of future engineers.

“Canadian Natural, as one of the largest Canadian oil and gas producers, is very pleased to be working with the University of Calgary to strengthen the Schulich School of Engineering,” said Steve Laut, president of Canadian Natural. “We are committed to developing a skilled workforce that will lead technology and innovation in support of a sustainable and prosperous oil and natural gas industry.”

The company’s donation contributes to the previously announced Schulich School of Engineering Expansion and Renovation Project, which includes approximately 18,300 gross square metres of new space and renovations to more than 11,000 gross square metres of existing space within the complex. This project will allow the Schulich School of Engineering to increase capacity by at least 400 additional undergraduate and graduate students.

The gift from Canadian Natural is a significant milestone in the Engineering Leaders campaign, the largest fundraising initiative ever undertaken by the Schulich School of Engineering. The goal of the campaign is to raise $60 million, of which $54.3 million has already been raised. With the gift from Canadian Natural and contributions from other donors, the campaign is now on track to reach its target.

This gift comes on the heels of the government of Alberta’s announcement on Oct. 9, 2013, to provide $142.5 million to fund the Schulich Expansion and Renovation Project. Philanthropic donations of $15.8 million from the Engineering Leaders campaign will be added to cover the total project value of $158.3 million.