Fundraising campaign reaches new heights

January 26, 2006, vol. 35, no. 2
By Erica Branda



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After two-and-half years as VP-university advancement, Cathy Daminato is about to wrap up the largest fundraising effort in SFU's history - the $125 million Reaching New Heights campaign.

With one year to go, her team has raised $107 million and is firming up the details on several additional large donations, bringing the goal well within reach.

“When I joined SFU, I realized that we needed to double the amount of money we were raising to at least $20 million annually in order to reach our target,” says Daminato.

“The university advancement team stepped up to this challenge, focusing on major gift fundraising as well as on alumni and campus appeals. I am incredibly proud of my colleagues' success and am confident that the relationships they are building will provide at least $25 to $30 million per year after this campaign ends. Our volunteers from the campus and the community have played a key role in our continuing success.”

Fundraising is becoming more important as SFU continues to increase its rate of growth and its impact on the B.C. landscape. Projects at all campuses have benefited from the campaign. Downtown, the Segal graduate school of business will open in the spring and planning is under way for a new school for the contemporary arts at the old Woodward's site. The new campus in Surrey will open in the fall.

There are also several major facilities at the Burnaby campus, including a new building for the faculty of health sciences, an advanced materials research centre known as 4DLABS and a new gymnasium with upgraded athletic facilities.

The advancement team continues to work with individual and corporate donors to increase support for scholarships and bursaries as well as research chairs such as those in salmon conservation and management and in statistics and information for arthritis and musculoskeletal research.

“In just 40 years, SFU has become one of Canada's premier comprehensive universities, a key driver of the provincial economy and a catalyst for developing the leaders of tomorrow,” says Daminato. “My goal is to build the community, alumni and campus support that will enable us to continue along this extraordinary growth path.”

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