WINNIPEG, MB – The University of Winnipeg launched its first annual It’s Your Opportunity, Too Campaign to raise awareness and funds for the University’s innovative Opportunity Fund. The campaign was kick started by a breakfast on November 25, 2008 attended by a wide range of business people, community members, government officials and University of Winnipeg student faculty, staff, and alumni.
Aside from personal donations, a number of new gifts totaling $215,000 to the Opportunity Fund were announced, along with $30,000 in donations to the Duff Roblin Scholars Fund to support graduate students in Aboriginal Governance. The University intends to build a $10-million endowment fund for the Opportunity Fund education initiative.
“The Opportunity Fund is a unique initiative among Canadian universities,” said University President & Vice-Chancellor Lloyd Axworthy. “This fund will ensure that students – regardless of background and socio-economic status – have access to higher education.”
Two student speakers at the Opportunity Fund breakfast, Muuxi Adam and Glen Kowalchuk, drove this point home by thanking donors for their help and speaking about the vital importance of support from the Fund for people who, without this help, could not realize their dreams of a university education.
Innovative Financial Supports
The Opportunity Fund provides innovative financial supports through tuition credits, bursaries for students and micro-financing for young, aspiring entrepreneurs. Launched in 2007, the Opportunity Fund provides financial help for Aboriginal, new Canadian and low-income youth as well as adult learners.
“Since announcing the Opportunity Fund, our generous alumni and friends have helped bring the fund to more than $1.64-million,” announced R.M. (Bob) Kozminski, Chair of ‘A World of Opportunity’ Capital Campaign, in thanking previous donors to the fund and announcing new contributions.
The following gifts were announced at the breakfast event:
- $100,000 donated anonymously by a Winnipeg couple, $80,000 of which is to the Opportunity Fund and $20,000 to the Duff Roblin Fund;
- $65,000 to the Opportunity Fund and $10,000 to the Duff Roblin Fund, announced by Kirk Stanley from Windsor Masonic Lodge No. 38;
- $50,000 from Lafarge Canada to support Opportunity Fund bursaries, announced by Vice-President/GM Greater Winnipeg Vice-President Andy Dutfield;
- $10,000 from Cambrian Credit Union, with President and CEO Tom Bryk attending;
- $10,000 from Assiniboine Credit Union, with Vice-President Corporate Social Responsibility & Corporate Governance
- Priscilla Boucher attending
Among the special guests at the breakfast were representatives from corporate donors who made gifts to the Fund in 2007: McLean Budden ($100,000), with Doug Andrews present; and Scotiabank ($150,000), with Susan Roberts and Steve Farkas attending.
“We are very grateful for the commitment by our donors to this important Fund,” said Susan Thompson, President and CEO of The University of Winnipeg Foundation. “We are making good progress working towards the overall goal of this fund – and our donor’s gifts are already at work, helping today’s students realize their potential in a way that simply wasn’t possible without the help available through the Opportunity Fund.”
The 2008 It’s Your Opportunity Too Campaign encourages the general public to contribute to the Fund along with corporate donors and alumni of the University of Winnipeg. The campaign includes a public appeal through print and radio advertising supported by online giving through the University of Winnipeg Foundation’s website – www.uwinnipegfoundation.ca.
For information or to give online to the Opportunity Fund, visit www.itsyouropportunitytoo.ca.