Read all the latest news from UCC about the landmark Think Ahead Campaign.


UCC students endorse Think Ahead Campaign (Nov. 5, 2012)

Upper Canada College’s $100-millionThink Ahead campaign has received a glowing endorsement from some of our most important community members:  our students.

The Nov. 2, 2012 issue of Convergence, UCC’s student-run newspaper, made the Think Ahead campaign its cover story. Below are highlights of the feature written by editor-in-chief Chris Taylor ’14:

On the campaign:

“I believe that this is a noble endeavor, an endeavor that will make UCC, and the countless lives that UCC touches, that much better.”

“The program will, in the view of this paper, undoubtedly increase the quality of learning at UCC. Not only will the best and most deserving, not just the wealthiest, students from across Canada and the world be able to attend, but the facilities and buildings that are used by all students will be improved.”

“Our mission statement says that it is our goal ‘To ignite boys’ curiosity, imagination, and passion. To support diligence, innovation, and excellence in all they pursue. To encourage compassion and integrity throughout their lives. To challenge them to make a difference.’ We can do that by providing financial aid to deserving boys. We can do that by rebuilding our facilities and classrooms. We can do that by investing in our teachers and our boarders. We can do that by thinking ahead.”

On scholarships:

“Half of the $100 million to be used in the ‘Think Ahead’ initiative has been earmarked for needs-based scholarships for boys who would be otherwise financially unable to attend UCC … This paper strong supports this idea.

“A great number of smart, athletic, and deserving boys are prevented from attend UCC simply because they are not part of the top 0.5% or the top 2% [of Canadian income earners]. Not only does this hurt the boys themselves, it also hurts the school, as boys would have contributed greatly to the college are prevented from doing so.”

“This initiative is a statement by the college and the UCC community as a whole that countless great minds pass through life unable to achieve their potential because of the conditions in which they are born. It is a statement that this need not occur, that something can be done to ensure that students are judged by the content of their character, not the wealth of their parents. And who better than UCC, than us, who pride ourselves in serving our students, community, and society as a whole at once, to do it?”

On boarding:

“How will additional funds help the boarding community? Well, it will give UCC a better ability to recruit students, provide financial aid, and improve boarding facilities. We at Convergence believe this is a noble endeavor, since if we as a school have a boarding program, we should try to make it the best.”

On classrooms:

“Already we have seen some of the benefits that the type of facility renovations that are a part of the ‘Think Ahead’ campaign will allow the school to complete, such as the changes to the 3rd floor science labs and classrooms. Improving the facilities of the school is something that helps all students, and we support it.”


UCC launches unprecedented Think Ahead Campaign (September 29, 2012)

It’s probably the worst-kept secret in College history — and the big moment has finally arrived. It’s official: This year’s Association Day marks the public launch of the $100-million Think Ahead Campaign, with half of the goal earmarked for needs-based scholarships.

Fuelling the excitement is a campaign filled with precedent-setting moments. For one, it’s the most ambitious in Canadian independent school history, with an anonymous gift of $11 million to fund scholarships marking the largest donation ever in this sector.

“This is a moment like no other in UCC’s 183-year history,” says Principal Jim Power. “This is a defining moment, one that will decide what we will be as a school in 10, 50 even 100 years.”

With about $72 million raised to date, the Think Ahead Campaign has three key priorities, the campaign cornerstone being the establishment of needs-based scholarships.

“We see this as an investment in the country’s most important natural resource – the great minds of today and tomorrow,” says Board Chair Andy Burgess ’83. “We will continue to attract remarkable boys – locally and from a global pool – regardless of means, whether they need a full scholarship or a smaller amount to make their UCC education possible.”

While certainly ambitious, the goal is to offer at least 20 per cent of students — or 220 boys — needs-based scholarships by 2015-16 to remain competitive in the independent school sector. To date, UCC has raised $30 million for scholarships alone and is offering 137 boys partial or full assistance.

Additionally, the campaign will raise funds for much-needed renovations to the Upper School, specifically classrooms and science labs that haven’t seen improvements in more than 50 years.

Focusing on the heart of the UCC experience, the campaign also aims to both expand academic and co-curricular programs, and enhance professional development opportunities for teachers so they can truly claim to be international leaders in their field.

Finally, incorporating all three priorities is a boarding component, a commitment to the revitalizing of both Seaton’s and Wedd’s houses. A campaign within the overall $100-million campaign, the Boarding Campaign will focus on raising funds for needs-based scholarships specifically for boarders, renovating the boarding houses, as well as developing expanded after-school and weekend programs for boarders.

“The Think Ahead Campaign will further secure UCC’s reputation as a nurturer of future leaders — the rocket scientist in the making, the budding Picasso, the next Sidney Crosby or future UN Secretary General,” says Laurie Thomson, co-chair of the Campaign Cabinet. “With this, the official launch of this transformational campaign, we are thinking ahead as we as a College community enter into a new era. We invite you to step up and share in this defining moment.”

Thomson, along with Loudon Owen ’76 and Andy Pringle ’69, are co-chairing the Campaign Cabinet. Martin Abell ’81, Blake Hutcheson ’83 and Adam Markwell ’92 are co-chairing the Boarding component of the campaign.

For more information on the campaign, the senior volunteer leadership and supporters, please visit


Stu Lang donates $11 million to UCC (Sept. 28, 2013)

After a year of requested anonymity, 1970 Upper Canada College alumnus Stu Lang has stepped forward as the face behind the largest single donation in Canadian independent school history.

The value of Lang’s $11-million donation to support financial assistance was initially announced when the campaign launched at UCC’s Association Day homecoming celebrations last September. The donation is the leadership gift in UCC’s $100-million Think Ahead campaign. To date, $80.8 million has been raised.

UCC is giving out $3.7 million of financial assistance during the 2013-14 school year to 170 boys who wouldn’t otherwise have means to attend. The key priority of the Think Ahead campaign is to ensure that 220, or 20 per cent, of UCC boys will receive financial support by 2015-16. This would place UCC among the top financial assistance programs at Canadian independent schools.

Lang was a receiver who helped the Edmonton Eskimos win five Grey Cups in the 1970s and early ‘80s before moving on to a successful career in packaged goods labelling as president of CCL Label Canada/Mexico and then CCL Label International. He retired as an officer of the company in 2006, but still serves as a director. Lang became head football coach at the University of Guelph in 2010 and led the team to its best-ever regular season in 2012. But his high school years still remain special to him.

“I spent five wonderful years at UCC and had access to life-changing opportunities both on and off the field,” says Lang. “My goal is to give back, to give deserving boys opportunities that are otherwise beyond their wildest dreams, and to encourage others to step up and support this transformative initiative.”

In honour of his gift, UCC will launch the Lang Scholar Program to ensure a legacy of furnishing current students with leadership and other character development opportunities.

“Just as the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship recognizes and supports tomorrow’s leaders, the Lang Scholar Program will do so by giving up to 15 boys each year access to a unique enrichment program, complete with leadership training conferences, guest speakers and field trips,” says principal Jim Power.

This year’s nine inaugural scholars are Philippe Archambault, Matthew Baker, Mattia Colangelo, Louis Christophe Hebert, Clayton Jeffrey, Philippe Martin, Jeffrey Misner, Liam Power and Akeil Zarudny.

“UCC has a long history of producing leaders,” says Lang. “And as the campaign slogan says, ‘Think Ahead.’ Great leaders have the ability to look around the corner, to see things coming before everyone else.”

“Stu Lang’s remarkable gift cements our ability to take a school with a great reputation and make it even greater,” says UCC board chair Andy Burgess ’83. “By embracing and evolving boys of potential, we’re assuring our legacy of leadership in boys’ education for generations to come.”

Read more about Stu Lang’s $11-million gift at the Globe and Mail.