A hallmark through our university’s long history has been the gracious giving by students, staff, alumni and community members. These gifts enhance both academic excellence and campus expansion, allowing Brandon University to continually develop in response to student and community needs. Every contribution is important, and I want to personally thank the individuals and organizations for their support.
Let me directly address a significant gift that has become a recent topic of discussion in the media. In 2007 and 2008, alumnus Mr. Joseph Robertson donated approximately $4.5 million to the university. In tribute, Mr. Robertson is the first name listed on the foundation’s donor wall next to the president’s office in historic Clark Hall, and the only one acknowledged as “Outstanding Philanthropist.” Additionally, his generosity was publicly recognized in 2008 at the annual Brandon University Foundation Order of the Sheaf luncheon, and in articles in the university’s 2008 annual report and the fall/winter 2008 edition of Alumni News. Each year, Mr. Robertson’s name tops the donors list published in the annual report.
Gifts to the university can come with either explicit or implied ideas on how the donation should be utilized, and in what way the donor shall be recognized. Some may have a grand vision, others a modest proposal, and still others refuse recognition whatsoever. It is the role of a dedicated team at the university, working with a network of community partners, to realize and properly acknowledge these donations.
Discussions continue on how we, as a public institution, appreciate and celebrate contributions from all donors, including a lasting tribute to Mr. Robertson’s gift. We plan to erect a wall of recognition for contributors at the Healthy Living Centre, and the Score a Seat campaign now underway represents another fitting commemorative to the many individuals and organizations supporting our most recent capital expansion. Mr. Robertson and other donors will be fully recognized for their contributions.
We can never thank all our donors and contributors enough for their gifts and goodwill to the university, and we continually explore and seek out opportunities to demonstrate our appreciation.
Through your donations and active interest, Brandon University becomes an even greater community asset. I appreciate your caring engagement and look forward to new and continued opportunities for growth.
Dr. Gervan Fearon
Vice-President (Academic and Provost)
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 30, 2014