By Mary Cameron
Dalhousie University officially launched the largest fundraising campaign in its history on March 29. Bold Ambitions: The Campaign for Dalhousie aims to raise $250 million.
“We’ve been at this for two to three years now, getting the plans in place, getting all the materials in place, and we’ve raised $170 million quietly as we’ve done this,” says Floyd Dykeman, Dalhousie’s Vice-President External. “Now it’s time to go public, raise our profile even higher, ask more people to get involved in our campaign, and as a result of that reach our ultimate goal.”
The campaign will focus on five themes:
- Student success will be improved by strengthening support services, improving buildings and facilities, and creating more scholarships and bursaries.
- Enriching student experience by improving recreational facilities, offering leadership opportunities, engaging off-campus students and increasing inclusiveness.
- Sustainability will be targetted by allotting funds to Dalhousie’s College of Sustainability and creating faculty positions in this department.
- Interdisciplinary education between health services will focus on creating better collaboration among health professionals.
- Interdisciplinary programming between architecture and engineering will allow students to work together across disciplines.
“We see those as integrating themes across the university curriculum. They’re very broad obviously in their scope so they touch on a substantial part of the university,” says Traves. “Secondly, they … reflect pretty clearly three major challenges that we see long-term before us which are essentially challenges of the environment, challenges of a sustainable healthcare system and challenges related to economic growth and development.”
|Bold Ambitions Campaign|
Dykeman says there was much consultation when deciding where there are the most needs. Deans and department heads fed information back to the Bold Ambitions leadership team. Traves says students were also surveyed about their concerns and desires for the university.
Though government cutbacks on university funding affect students, Dykeman says funds raised will be directed to new causes, not to the replacement of lost funds.
“I would say that our donors are aware that our governments are cutting back on funding to higher education and I think they understand that this funding has a negative impact on universities. But many of the priorities that we have identified in our campaign aren’t about replacing the lost government funding. It’s about raising new money to do new things,” says the VP.
With $170 million already raised, Traves is optimistic about the possibilties the Bold Ambitions campaign will provide.
“I think it will first of all make it an even more positive experience for our students… on the academic side, the program possibilities that will grow out of the campaign and the expenditures from the campaign will make our academic activities that much richer.”