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Why I Give: Dr. Paul Lawrie

Fri. Nov. 1, 2019

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:

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.

Library Upgrade and Expansion

The UWinnipeg “Library in the Sky” has served the campus for over 40 years. During this time, the building has aged, the student population has quadrupled, and the digital age has significantly changed the course of pedagogy, research, and library practice. The path toward library renewal began in 2015 when Dr. Annette Trimbee called upon the UW community to “ensure that our library, as the heart and soul of our academy, continues to be a hub for research, collaboration, and learning.”

The campus echoed this intention in both the Integrated Academic & Research Plan (IARP) and Asset & Campus Enhancement (ACE) consultations. In late 2017, a small team was formed to explore approaches to defining a vision and pathway forward for a UWinnipeg Library of the 21st Century.

The goal is to create a learning commons with enhanced space that preserves collections of all kinds, including archival space for the University’s Gallery 1C03, Archeology and United Church archives. Library redevelopment would include consideration for social sharing space, community space, support for faculty, a knowledge repository for faculty output, visual impact, and the ability to preserve materials in a responsible way.

There is also a need to improve safety and address the lack of physical accessibility. Repairs and maintenance issues are also significant.

Work-Integrated Learning

Work-integrated learning builds workforce capabilities, as well as the skills and individual prospects of students as members of the community and  Canada’s labour force.

In an interconnected global economy, a diverse, well-educated, and highly skilled workforce is critical not only to innovation, productivity, and economic growth, but also to maximizing human potential. Work-integrated learning is strongly endorsed by universities as well as employers and community partners as an important component of the overall student experience. Many UWinnipeg students take part in co-op programs, internships, field placements, or some other form of experiential learning or “work-integrated learning”. Our goal is to expand students’ access to experiential opportunities by offering new programs within a variety of departments.

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].