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YEAR IN REVIEW: Throwing their support behind Queen's

[Queen's University Donors]
Among the many supporters of Queen's University this year are, clockwise from top left: Isabel and Alfred Bader; A. Britton Smith; the Joyce Foundation; and Stu Lang.

Last year, more than 13,000 benefactors helped support Queen’s University in its goal “to provide an environment where opportunity meets excellence.”

The ongoing Initiative Campaign – with an overall goal of raising $500 million by 2016 – is aimed at supporting projects that make Queen’s a destination for exceptional people, enhancing student learning experiences, securing the university’s global reputation in discovery and inquiry and nurturing a supportive community.

In honour of all those who support the Queen’s community, the Gazette takes a quick look at some of the benefactors who gave gifts in 2014.

Alfred and Isabel Bader

Alfred (Sc’45, Arts’46, MSc’47, LLD’86) and Isabel (LLD’07) Bader are long-time, generous supporters of Queen’s University and in a year that saw the opening of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, the Baders continued to provide the funding to make dreams a reality.

In April, the Baders donated 68 paintings from their personal collection to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. The paintings, spanning a time period of 1610-1710 and representing 49 different artists, join more than 130 works including two Rembrandts that the Baders have donated to the Art Centre since 1967.

At the beginning of December, the Baders donated $5.5 million to the university, including $3 million for the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, $1.5 million for the Jewish Studies program and $1 million for postdoctoral fellows in humanities departments.

A. Britton Smith

Not all donations come from Queen’s alumni. A. Britton Smith, QC, a long-time supporter of the university, made a $10-million donation, including $9 million for the School of Nursing and Department of Surgery and $1 million towards the revitalization of Richardson Stadium.

As a result of the gift, three chairs will be established – the Sally Smith Chair in Nursing, the Smith Chair in Surgical Research, and the Britton Smith Chair in Surgery –  while an additional portion of the gift will go towards a chair in orthopaedic research, with another portion dedicated to a nursing endowment. 

Stu and Kim Lang

Stu Lang was already known for his outstanding play on the football field as a member of the Queen’s Gaels and the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos, but now he’s also known for leading the charge to revitalize Richardson Stadium. In March, Mr. Lang, who graduated from Queen’s in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering, pledged a lead gift of $10 million that kicked off a successful campaign to fund the revitalization of the 40-year-old facility. That plan – at $22.75 million – was approved in December by the Board of Trustees.

Richardson Foundation

The Richardson Stadium project also found a big supporter from the family that provided its name. The Richardson Foundation, the giving arm of James Richardson & Sons, Limited and Affiliated Companies, pledged $5 million in March for the renewal effort. The family and the university have a long, storied history together and, with the donation, the Richardsons decided to continue the legacy. The original stadium was built in 1920 through a gift of $50,000 from alumnus and former chancellor James Armstrong Richardson. It was named for his younger brother, George, also a Queen’s graduate, who was killed in France during the First World War.

Joyce Foundation

In November it was announced that Queen’s University students from the Kingston and surrounding area would benefit from a $5 million gift from the Joyce Foundation. Each year, up to 32 eligible students will receive up to $5,000 for each of their four years of undergraduate study at Queen's. The Joyce Foundation is a private, family foundation created by Ron Joyce, LLD'99, who was awarded an honorary degree in 1999 to recognize his work as an outstanding Canadian philanthropist and entrepreneur.

Health Canada, True Patriot Love Foundation and General Dynamics

The Queen’s-based Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) received a $10.5-million funding boost in November from Health Canada, the True Patriot Love Foundation and General Dynamics. The announcement was made at CIMVHR’s annual forum, with True Patriot Love donating $5 million, General Dynamics another $500,000 and Health Canada providing $5 million as well. The funding is aimed at mobilizing and promoting the uptake of research to better address the health and wellness of Canadian Forces personnel and support direct research to help improve the mental health and well-being of military members, veterans and their families.

The Initiative Campaign is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history. The goal is to raise half a billion dollars to ensure Queen’s future as a destination for exceptional people. The campaign will nurture a supportive campus community, enhance the student learning experience, and secure a global reputation in discovery and inquiry.