Cathy Daminato

SFU donations reach new high

July 26, 2007

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By Erica Branda

SFU had a record year for philanthropic support in 2006/07. Donors gave close to $36 million — breaking the previous year’s record by almost 20 per cent.

Approximately $23 million is funding new equipment and facilities, while $3.5 million is directly supporting students through scholarships, bursaries and awards. A further $9 million is enhancing research and teaching through research chairs and centres.

Major donations include:
• $12 million from Stewart and Marilyn Blusson — the largest gift in SFU’s history — to create a home for the university’s new Faculty of Health Sciences.
• $5 million in equipment from IBM to create the most computer-powered criminology research centre in the world.
• $1 million from the Lalji family to establish an educational centre that will focus on Muslim diversity.

SFU also officially opened two major facilities that received a high level of donor support — the Segal Graduate School of Business and SFU’s Surrey campus.

"This high level of support tells me that the community is happy with the direction that SFU is taking with its new initiatives," says Cathy Daminato, VP-university advancement.

"I’m also excited about the enthusiastic response we are getting to current fundraising priorities. They include the new School for the Contemporary Arts we are building as part of the Downtown Eastside’s Woodward’s redevelopment project and a research chair that will help us understand and address the problem of youth violence."

SFU’s 2006/07 Report to Donors highlights some of the many ways that SFU donors are enriching the university experience for students and researchers. It is available on-line at

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