University Of Winnipeg Achieves Historic Fundraising Goal: ‘A World of Opportunity’ Capital Campaign raises $135 million for inner-city and campus renewal

Sep 16, 2011 | Corporate Member News

The University of Winnipeg is celebrating the successful completion of its A World of Opportunity Capital Campaign. The largest fundraising initiative in the University’s history raised $135 million thanks to the generosity of individual, corporate and government partners. 

Today’s announcement was held in the University’s newly opened Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex, a centerpiece of the University’s fundraising campaign and one of the most advanced science facilities in Canada. 

As part of the $135 million raised, the campaign leveraged more than $91 million in government support including close to $64 million from the Government of Manitoba, $19 million from the Government of Canada,

$2 million from the City of Winnipeg and a further $7 million in joint funding. This, along with an unprecedented investment of over $44 million from the private sector, corporations, individuals and the community at large, has contributed significantly to both academic and campus renewal at The University of Winnipeg as well as the economic and social development of downtown Winnipeg. 

“We are profoundly grateful for and humbled by the outpouring of generosity and hope that the experience of giving by so many people has permanently changed their awareness of the importance of private support to our inner city campus,” said R.M. (Bob) Kozminski. ”Thanks to this tremendous support, A World of Opportunity Capital Campaign has laid the groundwork for the future of fundraising at The University of Winnipeg.” 

Through the remarkable vision and leadership of UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, more than 7,600 individuals and families donated and more than 100 volunteers shared their time, expertise and extraordinary effort to ensure the campaign’s success.

Special mention should be made of those who volunteered for the campaign cabinet, honorary cabinet, national advisory and volunteer committees, as well as The University of Winnipeg’s Foundation Board of Directors. 

Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg

“This has been a transformative time for UWinnipeg. This highly successful campaign supports our core mission as a leader in academic excellence, access, community partnership and sustainable development,” said Dr. Axworthy. “We are now positioned to better serve future generations of students with world-class facilities.” 

University students, faculty, staff and retirees volunteered and donated to bring the Campus Campaign to more than $4.9 million.  A further $19 million was raised by University of Winnipeg alumni from across the globe. 

The Collegiate Campaign, lead by Collegiate Campaign Chair, Dr. James D. MacDonald, is also celebrating success, meeting its $5 million goal and completing the most comprehensive fundraising initiative in The Collegiate’s 138 year history. 

During the Campaign, the Endowment Fund grew from $21 million to over $38 million and more than 300 new scholarships, awards and bursaries were established in support of students.  Through the Opportunity Fund, more than 750 fast track bursaries were awarded since the Fund’s inception in 2007.  The Opportunity Fund is specifically designed to offer financial support to students who are under represented on Canadian campuses, such as Aboriginal students, refugees from war-affected areas, and youth from inner-Winnipeg neighbourhoods.  Other significant awards established during the Campaign include the Duff Roblin Scholars Fund, the Wesley Fund, and the Wu Chung Scholars Fund. 

The Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex will serve as a policy centre for environmental issues, community learning, and as a centre for applied research in environmental technologies.

This world-class facility also attracted a partnership with networking technology leader Cisco. A significant joint federal-provincial investment, combined with an endowment from Cisco, to establish a Chair in Collaborative Technologies, totaling $14 million, positions the University as a future leader in “green” technology research. 

The A World of Opportunity Capital Campaign brought to life many other campus enhancing capital projects including the Buhler Centre, The Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, McFeetors Hall: Great-West Life Student Residence, the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association Day Care Centre, the restoration of Wesley Hall, redevelopment of the Duckworth Centre, and other campus improvements such as the Portage Commons, Spence Street Promenade and Winnipeg Transit Loop.  There are also commitments to construct a new Multi-Purpose Field House, Health and Wellness Centre in the near future. 

Academic enhancements such as the University’s Community Learning Programs, including the Model School, Innovative Learning Centre and Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre; the Master’s in Development Practice, the H. Sanford Riley Centre for Canadian History and the Global College also attracted donor support totaling more than $6 million.   

“When we began this campaign our goal was to transform The University of Winnipeg and create a superior academic experience for students”, said Dr. H. Sanford Riley, Chair of The University of Winnipeg Foundation, “The entire city has been witness to this evolution and I trust the community feels we’ve achieved our goals.” 

During the next several years, The University of Winnipeg Foundation staff and volunteer leadership will focus on providing exemplary stewardship to all donors, engaging even more alumni and friends of the University in new fundraising initiatives and developing the next generation of volunteer leaders. 

“I am extremely proud that so many people believe in The University of Winnipeg,” said University of Winnipeg Foundation President and CEO, Susan A. Thompson. “Every gift was an important contribution to our efforts to attract new students, to recruit more world-class faculty, to build state of the art research facilities and to grow an endowment fund that will serve our community long into the future.” 

For more information about the completion of A World of Opportunity Capital Campaign, please visit 

UWinnipeg is consistently ranked in the Top-10 in the country on an annual basis by both Maclean’s Magazine and The Globe & Mail newspaper. The University of Winnipeg is a leader in academic excellence, Indigenous education, environmental studies, business, and theatre & the arts. Find out more by visiting Follow us on Twitter: and on Facebook: 


Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7130, E: [email protected].

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