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Trent University's 50 Million Campaign Exceeds Goal

 Potential Unleashed: Trent University Exceeds Campaign Goal Raising Over $56.8 Million for Student Support, Innovative Research and Teaching Excellence

Most ambitious fundraising campaign in Trent’s history wraps up with far-reaching impact and record breaking results


A transformational student experience, world-class innovative research, and unparalleled teaching excellence – honouring and building these hallmarks of Trent University has resulted in a major milestone: more than $56.8 million raised for Trent University’s Unleash the Potential fundraising campaign, the most ambitious campaign in Trent’s history.


The milestone campaign announcement was celebrated today at the Heart of Trent employee, faculty and retiree appreciation event. Thanks to the generosity and dedication of donors and volunteers, the campaign exceeded its ambitious goal by over $6.8 million.


“I am tremendously impressed by the generosity of our donors,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Leo Groarke. “Together, our students and donors have made this campaign a huge success. Such philanthropic spirit helps ensure that Trent remains one of Canada’s top universities.”


More than 8,461 individual donors contributed over 57,749 gifts to the campaign. During the campaign, donors initiated 690 new funds: 399 of these funds provide student assistance in the form of scholarships and financial aid. Over 10,000 students have received donor support.


Trent is an institution profoundly anchored in philanthropy,” said Julie Davis, Vice-President, External Relations & Advancement. “Since our inception more than 50 years ago, those who believe in the power of education to transform lives and build community have given their time, talent and resources to ensure Trent remains a special place of learning. We are immensely grateful to the thousands of donors and volunteers who have made this campaign a success.”


This exceptional fundraising effort has furthered the University’s top priorities: strengthening the transformative student experience for which Trent is known, elevating teaching excellence, and providing students with world-class research opportunities to unleash their potential. More than $20.2 million was given by alumni; $10.9 million by Trent staff, faculty, retirees and board; students contributed $9.6 million; parents $7.9 million; and foundations, corporations and organizations $8.2 million.


Through Trent University’s $50 Million Campaign – Unleash the Potential, Trent supporters have invested in state-of-the-art facilities like the Trent Athletics Centre, Bagnani Hall at Traill College, the new Student Centre, and most recently the project to transform Trent’s iconic Bata Library into the library of future. The campaign supported teaching excellence by establishing endowments to fund annual teaching scholars, and a distinguished visiting teaching scholar. Gifts also established endowed lectures, experiential learning funds, and resources for research and knowledge mobilization that keep Trent at the forefront of solutions to challenging and urgent local, national and global environmental problems.


Milestone Moments

Throughout the course of the campaign, there were several milestone gifts that set the stage for Trent to not only meet, but exceed, the ambitious $50 million goal. Here are a few highlights:


  • At the launch of the campaign, Trent received the largest gift of its kind from members of the Patterson and Drain families to create the Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics, which celebrated Trent’s commitment to the humanities and critical thinking.
  •  Over the campaign, Trent’s reputation as a leader in the environment was reinforced by a generous $1 million gift from an anonymous donor to create the David Schindler Endowed Professorship in Aquatic Science in honour of the world-renowned water scientist.
  • International alumnus, Trent supporter, and transformational donor Justin Chiu ’76 has helped strengthen Trent's transformative student experience through gifts to the Student Centre, in support of Trent Athletics Centre and Justin Chiu Stadium, and through many student-centered awards, international internships, scholarships, and bursaries.


Transformational Gifts

In 2017/2018 Trent gained huge momentum towards completion of the campaign with multiple transformational $1 million gifts from longtime Trent supporters:


  • Propelling world-class research forward, the Trent School of the Environment received an anonymous $1.4 million gift in October 2017 to support student scholarships and experiential learning initiatives. This was the largest single gift to support an academic school.


  • Further enhancing Trent’s renowned focus on teaching excellence, the University announced in May 2017 a generous donation of $1.25 million from an anonymous alumnus to create the Distinguished Visiting Teaching Scholar Endowment.


  • Fundraising efforts to transform the Bata Library into the library of the future included multiple donations from the Moore family. The first generous $1 million donation set the project in motion in 2015 and, most recently, a further $250,000 matching donation from the Moores helped move this project closer to completion. The Moore Innovation and Research Hub on the fourth floor of the Bata Library will honour this significant commitment.


  • The New Student Centre, build for and by the students, opened in the fall of 2017. Students provided a significant levy inspiring a $1 million gift from one alumni, lawyer and Degrassi executive producer Stephen Stohn ’66 and a $750,000 matching gift from an anonymous alum that created the Student Centre Challenge, raising a total of $4 million to complete the project.

Since the campaign’s inception, Trent’s loyal and committed donors have contributed over $2.8 million through the annual fund with an average gift of approximately $65. With more than 8,400 donors, Trent wants to emphasize that every gift matters, and every gift has helped make this success possible. As Trent looks forward, future philanthropic efforts will focus on creating experiential learning opportunities for students such as internships and study-abroad placements; enhanced supports for indigenous learners, support growth on both the Peterborough and Durham campuses, and restoration of outstanding heritage architecture.



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