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Explore giving stories

Donors like you are driving groundbreaking research, exceptional student experiences and positive change at UCalgary and in the community. Read on to see how philanthropy is helping us change lives.

How a chance meeting and a transformational gift changed one essential tremor patient’s life forever 

When John Mac Donald met Harley Hotchkiss at a Calgary Flames game in 2004, he had no idea the local philanthropist would go on to fund brain and mental health research that would later change Mac Donald’s life.

CSM report to community

Healthier lives sparked by philanthropy

From changing how stroke is treated around the world, to identifying new microbiome-based medicines and so much more — the Cumming School of Medicine has plenty to celebrate in 2024 as it marks 10 years since Geoff Cumming’s historic $100-million gift to the ӰƵ.


World-class kinesiology research facility coming to the ӰƵ

UCalgary will soon be home to one of the most advanced post-secondary research facilities dedicated to the study of human performance, movement and sport science, thanks to an extraordinary $20-million gift from the Taylor Family Foundation. 

Taylor Family’s enduring vision shapes the future while honouring the past 

Don and Ruth Taylor’s latest gift to UCalgary — set to revolutionize the future of kinesiology — makes the Taylor family the university’s largest individual donor, with their support advancing health, education, history and the arts.

a nursing student takes the blood pressure of a woman while another nursing student looks on and takes notes

‘Spirit Helper’ empowers aspiring Indigenous nurses

A partnership between UCalgary and Old Sun Community College — with student support from donors — offers Siksika nursing students a robust blend of cultural and clinical education.

selfie of a young woman

Power in numbers, equality in education

Inspired in part by a suggestion from the first woman to ever hold a professorial chair at a medical school, a small but mighty group of early 20th-century feminists got together to change the game. More than a century into their mission, the Calgary chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women is still making history.

man and woman on a walkway by the seaside

Honouring a mother’s fierce devotion with a scholarship that promotes advocacy

There were many ways to describe Hélène Provencher Major: Life Master bridge player, proud bilinguist, university graduate, adventurous traveller. But according to her husband of 63 years, being a parent trumped all.

portrait of a man in business attire, in a windowed room

Meet the donors

For many UCalgary supporters, Giving Day is prime time to donate, with matching funds making their gift go twice as far. As we prepare for this year’s campaign, get to know a few of your fellow donors who make the most of Giving Day.


UCeed company aims to change standard of care for chronic pain

Zymedyne Therapeutics, founded by scientists out of the world-renowned Hotchkiss Brain Institute, is on a course to create a class of non-opioid and non-addictive pain medications. It's a “unicorn” that pharmaceutical companies have been madly chasing for years, and has the potential to help millions around the world.

How to donate a cattle ranch — and what to do with it when you get it

Most gifts have some precedent, but this wasn’t most gifts. This was 19,000 acres, 1,000 head of cattle, and all the building and equipment that come with it. Five years in, W.A. Ranches at UCalgary is shaping the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine into a powerhouse of agricultural research and education.

A faculty turned community: Celebrating the Werklund School at 10

You could feel the sense of pride and excitement the day it was announced that the Faculty of Education would be renamed the Werklund School of Education. In the decade since, the school has thrived — and some students are still wearing their Werklund swag.

The largest university-based investment fund of its kind in Canada turns 3

UCeed launched in 2020 with a goal to expand the economy and accelerate innovation in Calgary and beyond. Three years later, the philanthropically driven, commercially minded pre-seed fund has done just that with a remarkable investment of $6.19 million in its portfolio of 44 companies.

Azrieli Accelerator professorship program brings on first recruit

Dr. Tamara Bodnar joined the Faculty of Science this year to investigate the impact of prenatal alcohol exposure on the gut-brain-immune system throughout life.

selfie of a man and woman on a mountain

Meet the donors

The Werklund School of Education and W.A. Ranches aren’t the only ones celebrating anniversaries this fall, many UCalgary donors have also hit important milestones — including one who has been giving for 50 years!


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