By Matt Rabey
On the Laurentian website, the Next 50 Campaign has been described as, “the most ambitious fundraising campaign ever undertaken in Northern Ontario.”
The Next 50 Campaign focuses heavily on fundraising and donations in order to achieve the goal that Laurentian University has.
Laurentian president Dominic Giroux explained some of the things the money will be used for: “with the funds raised through The Next 50 Campaign, we are able to move forward with the new School of Architecture, offering students the opportunity to study northern architecture and design, rooted in the Canadian landscape. These are opportunities that have never existed in this part of the country.”
To accomplish goals in the near future, Laurentian University has come up with the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan. This plan goes hand-in-hand with the Next 50 Campaign, as both set out goals in regards to raising funds and using them. The Strategic Plan has five primary areas of focus for the upcoming five years: student engagement and satisfaction, national recognition, university of choice, community responsiveness and organizational excellence.
In the area of student engagement and satisfaction, Laurentian University is aspiring to be among the top 25 percent of Canadian universities.
In national recognition, Laurentian wants to be in the top 10 of Canadian universities, in Laurentian’s category (undergraduate).
As for the area of university of choice, Laurentian University aims to be a first choice when attracting future staff and students both domestically and internationally.
For community responsiveness, Laurentian is committing to being active within the community and contribute to the betterment of Sudbury and Barrie.
Finally, Laurentian University’s aspiration towards organizational excellence involves the school being known for its “positive organizational culture.”
Thus far, the funds that have been raised as part of both plans have gone towards a few projects, as Giroux explained: “We’re also able to realize the dream of a School of Mines, solidifying Laurentian’s reputation as the go-to university for mineral exploration and mining in Canada.”
Currently Laurentian University is ahead of schedule as far as their fund raising goes, having raised over $63 million ($13 million above the target number).
Students will see direct results from this new funding, according to Giroux.
“Gifts and pledges will be used for new services at the Centre for Academic Excellence, for the construction of the proposed Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, for research in occupational health and safety, for modernized classrooms for the Faculty of Management and to enhance the student experience in the Bharti School of Engineering (with updates to labs and equipment, more field trips abroad for students, and more guest speakers).”