President & Vice Chancellor

The Campaign for a Bold New Brock

President & Vice Chancellor

Dr. Jack Lightstone
Our distinction comes from a passion for letting students get past the bounds of academic convention. Beyond our challenging academic programs, Brock provides opportunities for personal and social growth that simply do not exist at larger institutions.

Our innovative faculty and teaching methods infect students with the realization that it matters to develop the whole person. By expanding the definitions of intellectual growth, Brock seeks to produce well-rounded graduates who are not just smart, but who are versatile and aware.

So we need to project — through words, images and our actions — how Brock’s approach to teaching produces better scholars and better citizens.

We feel the concept, Both Sides of the Brain, nicely captures the diverse and special qualities — and benefits — of a Brock education.

And let’s be clear — the origins of this concept came right from this campus. When we set out last year to identify who we are as an institution, we connected with students, faculty, staff and alumni in focus groups, interviews and surveys.

We received hundreds of stories and testimonials from real people illustrating Brock’s dynamic culture that breaks the bounds of academic convention.

A theme emerged: Brock is a place where left-brain and right-brain thinking energize each other. Where an interdisciplinary focus helps students develop rational and analytical thinking as well as their emotional and creative sides.

The Bold New Brock Campaign, a $75-million fundraising campaign that will significantly enhance teaching and learning at Brock, will bring us together with our community, alumni, benefactors and governments at all levels to continue to build an exciting, invaluable asset that will benefit Niagarans and Canadians for generations to come.

We have already begun to embrace the task.

You may be aware of the generosity of Marilyn I. Walker last November and her $15-million gift to help create the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. I am pleased to share with you that in the “quiet phase” of our campaign that started August 2007, we have inspired many friends like Dr. Walker. To date, we have already raised an incredible $34 million.

In the past decade, we have all seen and coped with Brock’s growth — 82 per cent in the student population, 72 per cent in faculty.

Our faculty, and especially our younger faculty, are the brain trust for the University and for Niagara. Over the next 25 years we will revolutionize our region because of our research — a generation that will be impacted by the ideas, innovation and companies formed by discoveries at Brock.

These ideas will become the small- and medium-sized enterprises that create good jobs for Niagara and beyond. They are the knowledge engine of the future.

We know that 70 per cent of jobs in a new knowledge-based economy will require post-secondary education. We know that in the coming decade, growing demand for higher education will require between 42,000 and 60,000 new spaces in Ontario, mostly in the Golden Horseshoe.

Teaching and learning are the very tenets that our founders sought fiercely to enshrine when they created Brock half a century ago.

They’re the same core values that guide Brock 2014 Knowledge, Engagement, Transformation, the comprehensive academic plan we have spent two years crafting. It is our blueprint to apply our strengths while also achieving unprecedented world-class infrastructure to revolutionize our potential in terms of knowledge, engagement and leadership.

Our broader community must construct a new economy and a better future.

If we do not continue to have an eye firmly on our future and make smart decisions today, we will not achieve the role that Brock can play in Niagara’s transformation.

We will not realize our potential to take Niagara’s and Ontario’s strengths and opportunities, and turn them into the anchors of a new, knowledge-led economy that must be created here in Canada.

In part because we have historically been wise stewards of the public purse, in part because we have become a quickly growing success story as a mid-sized university, Brock is well positioned to identify and develop the economic drivers that will support our society, in our own back yard and across our country.

This is based on reality, not theory. And the benefits will be spread across the University.

For instance, the Niagara Health and Bioscience Research Complex will generate knowledge that can take full advantage of a very real Niagara strength — the greatest concentration of greenhouse growing capacity in Canada. We will cultivate the expertise that can grow new value-added products in these greenhouses.

This will be made possible by Bold New Brock.

The Level 3 Containment Lab will be unique in Canada as a research facility, and will be Brock’s asset. Around the world, many people die daily from diseases that will be researched in this lab. Brock could provide a breakthrough that saves those lives.

This will be made possible by Bold New Brock.

We will pursue research that can tap into the energy that sunlight provides to plants, and use it to produce green energy that could help to save our environment.

This will be made possible by Bold New Brock.

Arts and culture had an impact of $84.6 billion on the Canadian economy in 2007, according to the Conference Board of Canada. That’s 7.4 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product. Brock will play a critical role in training the next generation of artists for this industry.

This will be made possible by Bold New Brock.

Like many communities, downtown St. Catharines is suffering. Brock will help change that. We will open a front door to Brock in the heart of Niagara’s largest urban core. Not only will it create opportunities for our students’ talent, it will provide badly needed facilities for the community to express its own creativity and share cultural traditions.

This will be made possible by Bold New Brock.

Canada’s future business leaders will require new skills and international perspectives to be competitive in the global economy, continue our economic growth and support our standard of living.
That is why we will build a new Business building, equipped with the latest technologies, to expand our graduate programs and research and leverage our international accreditation.

This will be made possible by Bold New Brock.

Expanding our Faculty of Education’s learning environment is an investment in the future. Besides the urgently needed space for faculty and graduate students, the Campaign will create a state-of-the-art science and mathematics teaching laboratory for K-12 education and a new centre for music and arts education.

This will be made possible by Bold New Brock.

We will further expand our experiential learning through the creation of Mentorship Plus. The goal of this program is to have 25 per cent of our undergraduate students engaged from Year 1 to Year 4 in mentorship activities. This will help them transition to university, develop life skills, and be mentored by a friend or alumnus of Brock for a smooth entrance to the workforce.

This will be made possible by Bold New Brock.

And Brock will continue to develop as a research leader through six new endowed research chairs.

This, too, will be made possible by Bold New Brock.

One very specific and special purpose of the Bold New Brock campaign is to generate funds for scholarships, so that more of Canada’s best students can acquire an education regardless of their financial means.

Because, when all is said and done, the reason we are all here in the first place is for the betterment of our students.

Friends and colleagues, the Bold New Brock capital campaign offers us the key to persevere in building our own future. And we must forge ahead despite the severe economic downturn that might intimidate those less determined.

This is the biggest, and possibly the most important, fundraising campaign in the history of Brock. Its success truly matters to the future of the University.

Please join us on our journey to build a bold new Brock and a bold new future.

Thank you.