June 12, 2019

Why I'm an Ignitor: To be part of the energy

Alumna Lisa Llewellyn is a three-time supporter of UCalgary’s annual Giving Day
Student Calling Program students Liz Windnagel, left, and Jessie Cai, right, flank three-time Giving Day donor and proud Ignitor, Lisa Llewellyn.

Student Liz Windnagel, three-time donor and proud Ignitor, Lisa Llewellyn, and student Jessie Cai.

Development and Alumni Engagement

Another Giving Day is in the books. Thanks largely to our campus Ignitors — the generous faculty and staff who accounted for 35 per cent of donors to Giving Day — UCalgary’s third 24-hour drive was our most successful yet, raising more than $1.2 million.

Many of those donors have rallied behind Giving Day every year, helping to build a tradition and going above and beyond to spark change in the areas they’re passionate about. They are donors like Lisa Llewellyn, BA’02 — a dedicated member of the campus community for nearly 20 years. This week, as part of Campus Giving Recognition Week, Llewellyn is one of more than 400 faculty and staff members who will be receiving a special 2019 Ignitor pin as a token of thanks.

Soon to be a two-time alumna of UCalgary, she gives back to her alma mater to see our programs and our students thrive. And, as someone who has worn many hats around campus over the years — as an undergraduate student; then serving roles in student recruitment, the Cumming School of Medicine, the Office of the Chancellor and Senate; and now as both a graduate student and a program administrator and team lead in graduate programs education within the Werklund School of Education — it’s gratifying to see how initiatives like Giving Day help to progress the work taking place on campus.

Through her efforts, and as part of the university’s Indigenous Strategy, ii' taa'poh'to'p, Llewellyn has had the opportunity to work collaboratively with the staff at Writing Symbols Lodge (formerly the Native Centre) and witness the growth happening within her own faculty and across campus. That’s why, this year, she directed her Giving Day donation to the Native Centre Cultural Outreach and Healing Program.

“It’s thanks in part to donor support that we can continue to grow our Indigenous strategies,” Llewellyn says. “You see the impact through the success of our students, academically and socially.”

In the Werklund School of Education alone, the Indigenous Strategy, combined with donor support, has helped to add eight Indigenous academics, started a four-course graduate topic in addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and has introduced two community-based topics focusing on Blackfoot knowledge, among other initiatives.

For many, taking part in Giving Day not only provides an opportunity to support the causes they care about, it also brings an energy and an added sense of community to see our faculty, staff, alumni and partners come together for UCalgary.

Campus Giving Recognition Week takes place June 10-14. It’s our way of thanking the more than 2,900 Ignitors who are energizing positive change at UCalgary and in our community. Learn more.

That’s why we give