Donor Stories 2020 | Alumni | University of Guelph

Donor Stories

Every gift has a story. Our generous donors are inspired to give for different reasons. Whether you had a transformative experience at U of G, or are inspired by what’s happening on campus, your donations are having an incredible impact on our students and our community. Read on to see how each gift makes a difference.

Creating a Space for Healing, Nurturing and Knowledge Production


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44 Years of Loyal Giving Supports Greatest Needs

In 1976, Bruce Waddell, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’76, and Carolyn (nee Pinkham), BA ’75, were married and gave their first donation of $10 to the University of Guelph in that year’s fall campaign. In 1977, they gave $20; in 1978, $40. They doubled their donations each successive year. Today, as U of G leadership donors, Bruce and Carolyn describe their experiences at the University of Guelph as enriching and their longstanding support of the University’s Highest Priority fund as a means to enrich the experiences of other young students preparing for the rest of their lives. They say it’s heartwarming to know that their giving enables U of G to support areas of greatest need. Critical this year to COVID-19 relief efforts, the University’s Highest Priority fund provided more than $140,000 toward emergency bursaries, student food bank gift cards and care packages for students remaining in residence. “We always wanted to be part of society that gives back. It feels good,” says Carolyn.

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Mack and Beth Emiry

We Must Leave the Soil in Better Condition Than When We Started

This belief motivated Mack and Beth Emiry to create the Emiry Family Prize in Soil Management. Their family has farmed in Massey, Ont., for five generations. Aware of the increasing pressures on soil resources, they believe education and research will enable subsequent generations to adapt to the changing needs of soil management practices. The Emiry Family Prize will encourage and equip students with knowledge to ensure soil health.

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student starrtups

A Boost for Student

Fostering an entrepreneurial spirit is an important mandate for the John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise — the same can be said for Chris and Colleen Hogarth, who pledged $100,000 over ten years to support the Hub Incubator program at the Lang School of Business. The Hub provides student and alumni start-ups with funding, mentorship and advisory services to bring their ideas to life. Entrepreneurship is in the Hogarth family gene — Chris’ father Murray Hogarth was a business giant, philanthropist and founder of Pioneer Energy, who instilled in his family a passion for business as well as the importance of giving back to the community. Chris, a successful franchise owner and private equity investor, and his wife Colleen are thrilled to donate through the Hogarth Family Fund at Hamilton Community Foundation to support the Hub Incubator Program.

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The Remote Northern Indigenous Community Outreach Rotation


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mind map

Bridge to Career for Arts Grads

Giving College of Arts grads a kick-start on careers within the community is the aim of the Guelph Arts Apprenticeship Program (GAAP). The partnership between the University and the City of Guelph is supported by businessman and donor Alan Rottenberg, who will fund salaries for ten students in the first four-months of their one-year apprenticeships. Rottenberg saw first-hand the employment obstacles faced by arts grads and recognized the value of retaining talent in smaller Ontario cities. “We need to keep young people in these centres and we need to get them jobs when they come out of university so they can start building their lives and contributing.”


Mentor and Champion of Future Leaders

For almost three decades, Dr. Tej Gidda (a three-time graduate) has contributed to the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences by volunteering time and expertise, mentoring students and bringing co-op opportunities to our best and brightest. “I feel that what I took from the University of Guelph as a student is never going to equal anything I’m going to give back,” says Dr. Gidda. “But I would like to try." Dr. Gidda frequently hires Guelph students and finds they are exceptionally suited for the engineering consulting industry. He also helps students navigate through their chosen fields and supports the School's experiential scholarship programs. He believes that a strong relationship between academia and engineering consultants will further improve quality and efficiency for clientele while modernizing solutions for a globally improved life. 

walder foundation

Supporting Biological Diversity

The Walder Foundation and the Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund are greatly extending knowledge about some of the smallest but most ecologically important creatures in the tropics. Their support contributes to the global BIOSCAN biodiversity research program and to the DNA barcode reference library curated by the University of Guelph’s Centre for Biodiversity Genomics. By supporting the analysis of two million insects from Costa Rica's BioAlfa project, these organizations help expand the DNA inventory of life on Earth, filling important data gaps and promoting bio-literacy in Costa Rica and beyond.

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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.

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