Why I Give: Dr. Paul Lawrie

The University of Winnipeg Foundation

Dr. Lawrie


Why did you decide to support UWinnipeg?

Because I felt the need to contribute to the campus and to create a stronger university community.

What do you think is the most important work that UWinnipeg does?

I think the most important work that we do is prepare students to be critical and engaged citizens in today’s world, and to have a sense of social justice and critical inquiry. That’s vitally important. I think our students are obviously our priority, and I think we’re mentoring, and teaching and equipping them with the tools to enter into the world. We’re in the business of creating informed and empathetic citizens, not just simply professionals.

Why do you give, and what motivates you?

Corny or not, what motivates me is the desire to try to create a university community. We’re not a huge university, we’re a commuter university. There’s often a struggle to produce or maintain a sense of community here so I think by giving, whether it’s to things like infrastructure like the library, or student scholarships, things like that, it helps. It’s a little bit that I can do to contribute to that.

What contribution are you most proud of?

Student scholarships. Being able to give opportunities to marginalized students who are oftentimes not financially or socially able to go to university is important. Sometimes, they don’t even have a sense that this is something that they can do. So I would definitely say the students over bricks and mortar.

What would you say to a colleague or peer who is considering donating?

I would make the point that this is about us trying to create a community for students and for the people who work here. Obviously academics are foremost, but this is a really unique time in most students’ lives and I think being able to be part of a community outside of the classroom should certainly supplement that. In my university experience, it certainly did knowing that I was part of a larger community rather than just a collection of buildings I went to for certain periods of the day, and then went home and had no other connection to. I would say to them that your donation will help create this community that’s essential to helping foster learning.

Make An Impact

The 2019 Campus Campaign is well underway, and your support helps The University of Winnipeg remain a leader in community learning and providing access to education. Please consider making a gift to one of the following President's Priorities for 2019:

Pathways to Education
This umbrella fund provides the resources required to address the current needs of all our community learning programs, including The Model School and the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre.

The Model School
The University of Winnipeg Collegiate’s Model School is a high school within a high school that opened in September 2008. Inner-city students who show potential but don't have the financial means to attend the Collegiate are referred to the Model School. To date, more than 59 students have successfully graduated from Model School since 2008, and 80% of those graduates have continued on to post-secondary studies.

The Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre
Located on Ellice Avenue in the heart of Winnipeg’s West End neighbourhood, the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre is a partnership between UWinnipeg and the communities that surround our campus. The Centre delivers educational and cultural opportunities, such as access to community meeting spaces, after-school homework clubs, and Indigenous heritage programs for families.

The Opportunity Fund
The Opportunity Fund provides hundreds of students each year with funding essential to the pursuit of their educational and career goals. It was created to make it possible for youth to dream big. The fund provides assistance to those who face financial barriers that may otherwise prevent them from attending university.

Student Scholarships and Bursaries
Student scholarships are key to getting the best and brightest students in our classrooms with a major emphasis on Entrance Scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to Grade 12 students coming to The University of Winnipeg who have achieved an average of 80% or higher. Entrance Scholarships are important for the overall academic enhancement of our University as it persuades intelligent, hard-working and committed young adults from across Canada to join our campus and contribute to our growing population of scholars.

Sparling Hall - Coming Soon
The Annex was built in 1912 as an addition on to Welsey Hall. This building was later renamed to Sparling Hall (1916) after the first Principal of Wesley College, Reverend Joseph Walter Sparling. The building was originally constructed for use as a women’s residence, a function that it maintained until the 1960s. Under J.W. Sparling’s administration, Wesley College grew from a handful of students to 400. As a result of his excellent administrative leadership, the college was free of debt and had an endowment of $250,000.

Sparling Hall became a staple to the existence of campus for decades after. Unfortunately, Sparling Hall began to deteriorate a few years ago and has now become a safety hazard. In memory of Sparling Hall, the University has decided to refurbish the building to maintain its heritage. 

How Do I Become Involved?

By making a gift or pledge

All gifts are tax deductible. For more information about the tax advantages of charitable giving, click here [PDF]. Please note that additional benefits are available for first-time donors for gifts of $1,000 and less.