Sharing expertise with the broader community

New gifts to UWinnipeg allows research to move beyond campus to community

A generous donation to The University of Winnipeg means more innovative research will be shared in the community for the benefit of many. Today Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg, announced a $500,000 Endowment Fund supporting the University’s Knowledge Mobilization and Community Impact (KMCI) Program.

Established with a generous $250,000 gift from Russell Anthony, who graduated from UWinnipeg in 1965, and his late Uncle Paul Swaity a 1946 grad, and matched by a significant unrestricted bequest received from the estate of Wallace Schram, a graduate of United College 1949, the funds will be used to support UWinnipeg’s researchers as they take their expertise out into the field to share and collaborate with the broader community.

“Thanks to the tremendous generosity of these two passionate graduates, our impact in the broader community is strengthened,” said Dr. Trimbee. “Our many talented faculty members will have more opportunities to share their knowledge and expertise beyond our campus.”

Russell Anthony has chosen to honour his uncle, Paul Swaity, also a dedicated UWinnipeg donor, by naming his fund The Anthony-Swaity Knowledge Impact Endowment Fund.

“I am thrilled to be able to give back to an institution that means so much to me and was a source of inspiration for my Uncle Paul,” said Anthony. “I am glad I can play a small role in ensuring the wealth of knowledge stored on campus and in the minds of UWinnipeg’s most gifted faculty members can be shared with members of the community who can put it to use and hopefully address some of society’s most pressing concerns.”

While the University has long been involved in community engagement, the Anthony-Swaity Knowledge Impact Fund will allow for more training and skill development to help research teams develop and share their knowledge more broadly. It will provide ongoing critical financial assistance to UWinnipeg researchers identified through a competitive selection process.

“Gifts like this are an investment in the future of our University and ensure our reputation for academic excellence continues,” said Brian Daly, President and CEO, The University of Winnipeg Foundation. “On behalf of the Foundation Board of Directors, I offer my sincere gratitude to Russell Anthony and the late Wallace Schram for their forward thinking gifts and commitment to UWinnipeg.”

Dr. Trimbee announced the donations during her annual 2016 State of the University Address, where she shared a number of examples of how knowledge is already being mobilized beyond campus.  She pointed to projects such as UWinnipeg’s lead role in the national study, led by Dr. Catherine Taylor (Education and Rhetoric, Writing and Communications) on how to improve the school climate for sexual and gender minority students – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two Spirit, queer and questioning; another national study by Dr. Jan Stewart (Education) is aimed at helping new refugee youth navigate school and career transition successfully; and climate change mapping by Dr. Danny Blair and Dr. Ian Mauro (Geography) at  the Prairie Climate Centre, which takes real world climate data and creates a visual atlas available to everyone on-line. Other examples of knowledge mobilization already underway at UWinnipeg include a study of the economic impact of clean drinking water on First Nation communities by Dr. Melanie O’Gorman (Economics).

Read Dr. Trimbee’s complete 2016 State of the University Address here.

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Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

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