The boarding campaign’s goal is to raise $14 million, of which $12.9 million has already been raised from gifts ranging in value from five dollars to $1.5 million.
Significant funds will go towards renovating UCC’s two boarding residences, Seaton’s and Wedd’s, which haven’t been significantly updated since the 1930s. The remainder of the money will be earmarked for scholarships and bursaries to ensure more boys of exceptional ability have the chance to receive a UCC boarding education and to expand the range of after-school and weekend programs for boarders.
UCC has already increased its staffing so that each residence of 44 students now has two live-in senior house advisers rather than one, ensuring that each boarder gets more individual attention and that staff members have time to communicate with parents about their boy more frequently.
“As a kid from Huntsville, I learned a lot about life and responsibility as a boarder at UCC, and I’m committed to seeing it continue — better than ever — for other young men who have the privilege of experiencing this same opportunity,” says Blake Hutcheson ’80, chief executive officer of Oxford Properties and co-chair of UCC’s boarding campaign who made a gift in support of the renovations to the facilities. “If I can help, I’ll put my money and my time where my mouth is.”
The future of boarding at UCC was called into question in 2007, but overwhelming support by students, parents and alumni in favour of keeping the program alive convinced the College’s board of governors that it should continue — but only with a significant investment in both programs and facilities in order to keep pace with the rest of the internationally respected school’s offerings.
“There’s so much UCC has to offer, but without the boarding program the College wouldn’t have the international recognition as the Canadian hub of excellence in education that it enjoys today,” says Adam Markwell ’92, vice-president and investment advisor at CIBC Wood Gundy and co-chair of the boarding campaign.
“The students’ experiences at UCC are also more profound due to the perspective boys from more than 24 countries and across Canada bring to the school. I know I benefited greatly from the boarding program and I wouldn’t be the man I am today without it. That’s why I was among the many that fought so hard to keep the boarding legacy alive, but we’ll need significant support from our community to ensure it remains a strong and vital program for future students.”
That need for investment has led to this launch of the "Boarding Forever" campaign. A wide variety of recognition opportunities are open to contributors, including the naming of the program, residence complex, study rooms, lounges, scholarships and smaller items. A $1,000 gift allows donors to have personalized plaques installed in a residence room.
Here are some of the major contributors to the boarding campaign thus far:
- Desirée and H. Michael Jebsen (parents of a boarding alumnus) of Hong Kong have committed $1.5 million to establish The Jebsen Family Scholarship for boarding students from western Europe.
- Anonymous donors from Toronto have committed $1.3 million to establish a scholarship for students from rural Ontario.
- William Wong ’82 of Hong Kong has committed $900,000 to strengthen The Edward Wong Scholarship for boarding students.
- Hugh ’01, Max ’07, Kelly and Michael Meighen of Toronto have committed $700,000 to strengthen the Meighen Family Scholarship for boarding students from Quebec and New Brunswick.
- An anonymous graduate from the United Kingdom has committed $500,000 in support of boarding facilities.
- An anonymous donor has committed $430,000 to establish a scholarship for boarding students from western Canada.