students at convocation

Giving Day 2023 Impact Report

The power of community

You broke records once again! Giving Day 2023 brought together nearly 2,600 alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends to raise more than $2.5 million. Together, we’re saving and improving lives through research, bringing new ideas and technologies to market with a growing innovation ecosystem, and empowering the next generation of leaders with an exceptional student experience.

Read on to explore how some of our Giving Day-supported ventures are already making a difference across campus and in the community.

Connecting the Innovation Dots

Thanks to the generosity of alumni and community members supporting the Connecting the Innovation Dots fund at the Haskayne School of Business, more students — from across all faculties — can access invaluable experiential-learning opportunities that help them hone their critical-thinking skills.

Giving Day 2023 Leaderboard

Community is at the heart of Giving Day, and these three funds, driven by community champions, led the pack with the most donors.

You are enriching the student experience

Your support of extra-curricular and experiential-learning opportunities is opening doors for students, enabling them to gain hands-on experience and make valuable connections.


UCVM Indigenous Initiatives

In 2023, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) staged its first community clinic at Stoney Nakoda First Nation, allowing for more veterinary students to participate in the delivery of preventative veterinary care services. The clinics also offer an important opportunity to support the community by addressing animal health concerns.

man on the curling rink

Dinos Varsity Curling

Directed by Olympians Brett Gallant and Jocelyn Peterman, BKin’16, the new Dinos curling program enjoyed success last year. With tournament fees, travel costs and memberships for practice space, expenses add up, but donors ease the burden. “Giving Day has been really valuable for us to raise funds, to be able to run our season,” says Peterman.

laptop on a desk

Faculty of Law Impact Fund

Along with supporting the Black Law Students’ Association and Indigenous students, and backing extra-curricular activities, the UCalgary Law Dean's Impact Fund enables free tutoring. Student tutors are paid, “which is great,” says third-year student Divya Chawla, who tutored two students last year. “It was really nice to do tutoring and make some extra money.”

They were able to make it through the first year and they’re both doing really well now. (The student peer tutoring program) is a really successful and important initiative.

Divya Chawla

Faculty of Law student and peer tutor

You are advancing game-changing research

By investing in one of Canada's top research universities, you’re driving breakthroughs that have far-reaching impact, saving and improving lives here and around the world. 


Libin Precision Medicine Initiative

For Giving Day 2023, Canadian Pacific Kansas City railroad further matched donations to the Libin Precision Medicine Initiative. With these funds, critical infrastructure was obtained to expand the cardiac data pipeline and support the ongoing transfer and storage of cardiac data that will be used to design tools and models to improve patient outcomes. 

We are extremely grateful for the unflagging support of the community. Philanthropy is truly a catalyst for innovation and improvement in patient outcomes.

Dr. Paul Fedak, Director, Libin Cardiovascular Institute


Kelp research support

Kelp provides food and protection for marine species, regulates water temperature, absorbs carbon dioxide and helps prevent coastal erosion — but up to 95 per cent of the kelp in North America has disappeared in recent years. “Donations support an initiative that directly involves students and allows them to contribute to hands-on research,” says Dr. Sean Rogers, PhD, director of the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. “Contributions provide students with equipment. Just last year, that allowed us to purchase a kelp incubator, a critical piece for kelp forest restoration.”

You are empowering tomorrow’s leaders

Your gift towards scholarships helps us attract some of the best and brightest students to UCalgary — students who go on to enrich our community.

Dave Este

Dave Este Excellence Graduate Scholarship

Honouring an esteemed professor emeritus, “this award ensures that we have Black scholars and students, and that we transform all our systems, whether justice, health or social services, to support Black flourishing,” says Dr. Ellen Perrault, BSW’93, MSW’95, PhD’09, dean of the Faculty of Social Work. "More Black social workers are needed to truly understand the lived experience of Black communities, and how social workers can do anti-racism work.”

Chancellor's Scholars

Chancellor’s Scholarship

“I was shocked, genuinely shocked, in an amazing way because I realized the magnitude,” says third-year student Salma Zein of earning the prestigious Chancellor's Scholarship. “It was life-changing.” The award also provides access to community leaders and mentors. “It’s a terrific thing to have on campus. There’s such diversity in the students that have this scholarship. I can tell they’re all going to do amazing things one day.”

Santanna Hernandez

Dr. Michelle Hucul tribute awards

Receiving the Michelle Hucul Memorial Award — established after Hucul, MD’19, passed away in 2019 during her first year as a family medicine resident — was especially meaningful for Santanna Hernandez, having become friends with Hucul after meeting at an Indigenous pre-admission workshop. “She taught me you can never truly understand the impact you will have on someone’s life, either as a friend, mentor or health-care provider,” says Hernandez.

I will utilize my passion, knowledge and experiences to empathize, advocate, and enhance the health and welfare of Indigenous Peoples and others from all walks of life.

Sharissa Robles, MD student

Dr. Michelle Hucul Indigenous Student Leadership Award recipient

You are helping students reach their full potential

By supporting bursaries and emergency-assistance programs, you are helping ease the financial burden on students who most need it — and when they need it most — so they can focus on their studies.

Nursing students rallying

Faculty of Nursing Power in Numbers Fund

Nursing students in need can count on for emergency assistance. “It takes courage to say, ‘I need help,’” says Dr. Zahra Shajani, BN’02, EdD, associate dean. Barriers to access help are minimal by design, says Shajani. “They’re already in crisis, so they don’t have to explain themselves — that just makes them more vulnerable." And the impact is clear — students are getting help. “Especially the ones that are single moms trying to juggle school and kids, just trying to survive.”

photograph of Chemical Engineering Class of 1998

Chemical Engineering Class of 1998 Bursary 

Gathering for their 25-year reunion last year, Chemical Engineering Class of 1998 alumni Neil Bosch, Basil Perdicakis, both BSc (Eng)’98, and Paul Ringrose, BSc (Eng)’98, MBA’07, decided to create a student award — one that will live on in perpetuity thanks to the generosity of fellow alumni. The bursary supports up-and-coming chemical engineers, going annually to a student demonstrating financial need and academic merit. “We’re super-proud and it’s really important for us,” says Bosch.

Everyone’s been so successful (in their careers) that it just made so much sense to give back and invest in the leaders of tomorrow.

Neil Bosch, BSc (Eng)’98

You are connecting the community

The ӰƵ is a university for Calgary, and your support helps us expand and strengthen community connections that benefit us all. 

Faculty of Arts Pride Parade

CIH LGBTQ2S+ Lecture Series

The annual lecture, held during Pride Week, is an opportunity to build bridges and offer space to the queer community, says Dr. Jim Ellis, PhD, Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH) director. Bringing in scholars comes at a cost, making the fund vital, “so the community can see that UCalgary is committed and doing what we do best — providing history and context that helps us understand how far we've come, and how far we still need to go."

An art piece of horses walking up an incline

Nickle Galleries Exhibitions and Programs

Nickle Galleries, a champion of the arts community in Western Canada, works with classes, researchers, practicum students and interns. Founded as the Nickle Arts Museum in 1979, then renamed and relocated on campus, the gallery boasts a collection of 30,000 artifacts and produces temporary exhibitions, often with guest curators.

children running towards the camera

Centre for Wellbeing in Education

The Werklund School of Education’s Counselling Psychology program offers free counselling to members of the public, age 14 and older. “Clients are struggling with anxiety or depression or emotional regulation,” says Dr. Jennifer Turner, EdD’22, the Centre’s director. “What they’re gaining are strategies and confidence on how to manage their emotions in their day-to-day environment.”

It takes a community to drive extraordinary impact here at the ӰƵ — students, researchers, educators, staff, entrepreneurs and you. With your generous support, we’re driving innovation, nurturing talent and advancing research, working together today to create a brighter tomorrow.

Dr. Ed McCauley, PhD

President and Vice-Chancellor

Thank you for being a part of UCalgary Giving Day 2023!