Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Spirit of Giving

I confess that my greatest fear before becoming Dean was the role I would have to play in fund raising. Although I still don’t feel comfortable wearing a suit and tie, after four months on the job I have discovered that fund raising can be a personally satisfying experience. In a few short months I have met numerous people with generous hearts and amazing stories to tell. I enjoy interacting with them because they are passionate about supporting and enhancing the University of Alberta experience for today’s and tomorrow’s students, staff, and faculty. It is a humbling experience.

Recently, the Canadian Senate passed Bill S-201, recognizing November 15 each year as being National Philanthropy Day (NPD). NPD was created to recognize the great contributions of philanthropy -- and those people active in the philanthropic community -- to the enrichment of the world. On Friday, November 16 I represented the Faculty of Science in Edmonton's Philanthropy Day celebrations that recognized the individuals and organizations who have given much to improve quality of life in this city. While many donors were represented at the luncheon banquet, the room wasn’t big enough to hold the many people who contribute to the Faculty of Science, or the innumerable supporters of the plethora of charitable organizations that thrive here. Therefore, I am using my blog to give a special thank you to each and every donor to the Faculty of Science, and to the University of Alberta.

Over the last several months I have enjoyed watching the Faculty of Science receive thoughtful philanthropic gifts from grateful alumni and valued university friends. This exposure has opened my eyes to both the process of giving, and the responsibility of the receiver to use these gifts wisely and productively. Generous donors have created scholarships, initiated awards, supported research, enhanced student experiences, improved physical spaces, and contributed to a myriad of opportunities that continue to enrich the lives of all who pass through our halls. Their benevolent acts have transformed and continue to transform our Faculty into a living, vibrant campus.

The Faculty of Science take seriously the role of stewards for the gifts bestowed upon us. It is vitally important to use accepted gifts as donors have requested. This has to be a symbiotic relationship – both the giver and receiver must benefit.

We are grateful to each and every one of you.

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