Impact Report 2018 | Alumni | University of Guelph
  • Impact
    Advancement Highlights in 2018


To all of our generous donors, thank you for helping us to Improve Life this year.
In this report you will see the incredible impact your generosity has
made on the U of G community.



Thank You Notes

Dr. Vaccarino has a lot to be thankful for


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Your Impact: By the Numbers

Your support is making a difference


Donations to U of G totalled $31,334,587. Thank you to the 12,731 donors who are Improving Life at U of G.


Alumni Family

The U of G alumni family is 173,000 strong and growing, living in more than 160 countries around the world. We welcomed 6,500 new alumni to the family this year!

Johnston Hall Illustration

Scholarships & Bursaries

In 2017/18, U of G students received a total of $51.4 million in awards and financial aid (including donor-funded awards).


Planned Gifts

The University of Guelph is pleased to have confirmed planned gifts from alumni and friends totalling over $75 million. These legacy gifts will help ensure a strong future for education and research at U of G.

Alumni Events
Alumni Weekend Guests
Photos Taken
Social Connections
Class Reunions




Donor Impact

See how your generosity has Improved Life

Caring Gryphons Improve Life at U of G

To empower change-makers at U of G, eight campus members created Gryphons Care. Twice a year, students, faculty and staff can apply with an initiative to improve life on campus and beyond.

Winners are demonstrating the varied ways we can help one another. A graduate student group held a mental health conference, while another group arranged for chefs to demonstrate cooking ideas with edible food waste. Currently a student team is working on a new design for the Hyperloop, and a staff member has brought a meditation labyrinth to campus, available for events to promote mindfulness.

Famous pig transforms OVC diagnostics

Esther the Wonder Pig, a 650-pound social media phenomenon, had fallen mysteriously ill and needed advanced imaging to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Pet “parents” Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter
launched a campaign to equip OVC with the CT scanner large enough to accommodate her. With 11,000 donors from 57 countries, their Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary raised $650,000 in a few months.

Now, Esther has her diagnosis and OVC has the only machine in the country that can scan everything from a mouse to a giraffe!

Varsity Alumnus Keeps Gryphon Swimmers Afloat

Evan van Moerkerke, B.Sc. ’17, knows about early mornings and hard work. A competitive swimmer, he won a silver at the 2015 Pan American Games and competed for Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

As a young alumnus of the University of Guelph, Evan supports the Adopt-a-Gryphon program. "After all the support I received over the years as a varsity swimmer, the least I could do is give back. Being a varsity swimmer made me who I am today, and I can only hope it will have that effect on many young student athletes to come.”

HK '77

Giving back for lasting excellence

“At our 40th reunion, we realized our deep gratitude to Guelph,” says Cheryl King-Van Vlack, B.Sc. ’77. Cheryl is team lead for a $30,000 human kinetics ’77 class fundraising project for an undergraduate scholarship in HK. “We want to stay connected and help extend excellence at the University of Guelph.”

Set to benefit high academic achievers in need, the Class of ’77 plans to present the inaugural $1,000 scholarship in 2022 at its 45th reunion. The annual scholarship and its profound impact on second-year HK students will continue in perpetuity.

In photo l-r: Cheryl King-Van Vlack, B.Sc. ’77, Sherry Jones (Bondarenko), B.Sc. ’77, John Morgan, B.Sc. ’77, Tom Arnott, B.Sc. ’80, Bob Colliver, B.Sc. ’77, Dave Tucker, B.Sc. ’77 and Kevin Wagner, B.Sc. ’77

Humphries, Smits, Otoro Group

New scholarship gives back to international communities

To reinvigorate funding for entering international graduate students with experience serving disadvantaged populations in their home countries, Sally Humphries, faculty member and former director of international development studies, established a new scholarship in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences and the Ontario Agricultural College. The Sally Humphries and Leo Smits International Scholarship, a tribute to her late partner’s passion for community development and their joint advocacy for marginalized people particularly in Honduras, will support students in need to achieve the credentials to help make life-changing contributions to agriculture and community empowerment in their homelands.

In photo: farmer-researchers and their daughters, and Sally (far right), on a hillside in Honduras. Taken by Omar Gallardo, circa 2007.

Tony and Connie Leung

Protecting the food chain

Tony and Connie Leung, OAC ’77 and CSS ’77, respectively, recognize that the next priority in food production should emphasize safeguarding our food chain. That’s why their $1-million gift created the Leung Family Professorship in Food Safety, in addition to supporting other projects.

The Leungs believe that promoting food safety and consumer protection under nationalized food distribution is critical.

With this gift, Tony and Connie hope to see U of G lead in protecting the food chain and improving consumer education.

Adept Mind

Helping students reach their full potential

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are a dynamic and expanding sector. For innovation to keep pace with the growth, AdeptMind Inc. wants to ensure that deep learning and collaboration is sustained at the doctoral level.

The forward-thinking company has made a $70,000 gift to the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences to support eligible second-year PhD students with relevant research interests.

“We want to help PhD’s develop their full potential in this space,” says G Wu, CEO at AdeptMind. “We’re confident our contribution will have maximum impact at Guelph.”

Bill Laidlaw, BA '74

A true gentleman

Bill Laidlaw, BA ’74, has been a passionate ambassador of this University since his days as a student athlete.

His latest gift of $50,000 to the College of Business and Economics and the Macdonald Hall renovations is also a special tribute to his father, George Kitchener Laidlaw. “I give because my parents gave,” says Bill, who has been a lifelong contributor to U of G. “Their example is my compass.”

Laidlaw’s gift is honoured with a naming in Macdonald Hall. On the plaque dedicated to his father, Bill ends the inscription with a meaningful portrayal: “He was a true gentleman.” Like father, like son.

Student Impact

Our students thank you

My experiential learning with the Guelph Family Health Study has enriched my education. From learning to operate a BODPOD to measure fat mass or becoming involved in cookbook design, it has surrounded me with a community of mentors. Both the professors and graduate students created an open and fostering environment supportive to my development both as a student and scholar. Without my experience with the Guelph Family Health Study, my passion for research is something I may never have realized!

Owen Krystia, Student, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition

Opportunities such as the assistantships add to the university experience immensely. Working in a lab really taught me what the research field is like and that doing it is much different than just learning theory in class. They make everything you learn in class more applicable and easier to understand. This experience was invaluable to my education and future career.

Lindsay Obress, BSc '18

At OVC, I’ve been fortunate to be part of a strong team of researchers working to advance Lyme disease research in Canada. We apply a One Health approach, collaborating with public health professionals, veterinarians and the public, to better understand the distribution and spread of the blacklegged tick and the risk of Lyme disease for people and their dogs and horses.

Katie Clow, DVM '11, PhD '17

The experiential learning course was so beneficial in allowing us to engage directly with the community members of Campobello. I felt more invested with support from not only my professors and peers, but the mayor, council and Campobello residents. The raw emotion I felt while discussing the islander’s experiences would have never been possible without venturing to the island. I am thrilled to have been a part of the first group who formed the partnership between the Campobello Island community and the University of Guelph.

Chloe Spear, 4th Year Student, Criminal Justice and Public Policy, Business

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Lifetime Giving Councils

Lifetime giving councils recognize generous donors who support the University at the highest levels. Thank you to council members for your significant philathrophic investment and advancement of the University of Guelph and its mission to Improve Life.

More on Lifetime Giving Councils

Thank You


Alumni Affairs and Development builds lifelong relationships with alumni, parents, staff, faculty and friends of the University of Guelph. We raise funds to support the University and advance its mission to improve life.

Charitable Registration Number:
10816 1829 RR 0001


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