Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Mar. 10, 2009
Brock University, with one of the fastest-growing student populations of any university in the province, is launching a massive $75-million fundraising campaign to build muchneeded space, bolster its research capacity and help create new industries for Ontario’s recession-racked economy.
The Campaign for a Bold New Brock will fund new teaching and research buildings and pump millions of dollars into new bursaries, scholarships and student awards.
Brock has already raised $34 million during its “quiet campaign”, and aims to achieve its goal by the end of 2012.
University President Jack Lightstone said it is crucial to proceed with the campaign despite the global recession. Developing future employment prospects for Canadians means investments must be made now in higher education and areas of advanced research.
“Change must happen,” he said. “Significant steps must be taken, not just for the future of University graduates, but for our whole community and every family in it. We at Brock recognize that, and we intend to be part of the solution.”
Lightstone said the ambitious campaign — more than double anything the University has attempted to raise in the past — is self-financing and will not impact or draw from the University’s operating budget. He said donations reflect support for the initiative and will leverage further funding from federal and provincial governments, thus compounding the positive impact of philanthropy.
“Governments today are looking to make capital investments that have long-term payoff for the future of our region, our province and our country.
“We know that 70 per cent of jobs in a new knowledge-based economy will require postsecondary education. And we know that in the next 10 years, the growing demand for higher education will require between 42,000 and 60,000 new spaces in Ontario, most of them in the Golden Horseshoe.
“We will build the facilities, fund the students and researchers, and attract more of the world-class minds who collectively will make Brock one of the leading research centres in Canada.”
Research gives rise to jobs and new economies by advancing knowledge and innovation, and spawning new processes or products that could be grown, developed commercially or manufactured in this part of Canada.
Key economic catalysts of Bold New Brock include an advanced bioscience research complex on the main campus, and placing the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines, in conjunction with a performing arts centre.
The Niagara Health and Bioscience Research Complex will accelerate existing work on plant-based pharmaceutical discoveries, and have the real potential to make better use of assets that already exist, such as Ontario’s concentration of commercial greenhouse capacity, the highest in Canada.
And placing the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts off campus will transplant hundreds of students and faculty to the city core, helping property values and generating retail and spinoff business opportunities for the private sector.
Lightstone supports cultivating the arts not just for cultural gain, but also as an economic driver. The Conference Board of Canada reports that arts and culture had an impact of $84.6 billion on the Canadian economy in 2007.
“That’s 7.4 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product. So let’s think strategically. Brock will play a critical role in training the next generation of artists and production experts for this industry.”
Bold New Brock will also mean new space for Brock’s growing faculties of Business and Education, while funding a new centre for international students.
“One very specific and special purpose of Bold New Brock is to generate funds for scholarships, so that more of Canada’s best students can acquire an education regardless of their financial means.
“In times of adversity, families come together and work to face challenges. Brock is a member of the Niagara family, and we’re trying to rally the community. We need to do what we can to chart our own future.”