2021 Report to Donors

A girl with long dark curly hair and glasses, wearing a bright yellow striped shirt, leans against a tree. The text overlay reads Your UVic, Your Impact.

First-year engineering student Karnika Sitolay, recipient of the 30 by 30 Women in Engineering Award. Credit: UVic Photo Services

As a woman of colour, I want to champion equality in the field of engineering, with the hope that in the near future the ‘30 by 30’ goals will be met nationally, if not globally.” - Karnika Sitolay

Connected through giving

As a donor to UVic, you are connected to thousands of students, researchers, other donors and the wider community. All those connections start with your gift. Your generosity, your impact, your community.

Explore the 2021 Report to Donors through stories and highlights below, or download the report.

Devin holding a camera wearing a grey UVic sweater looking slightly off to the side
Devin Owpaluk, who is Inuit, was one of five students who completed paid internships funded by a donor. Photo: UVic Photo Services

Maintaining cultural connections—virtually

During his internship with the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement, Devin Owpaluk helped with the roll-out of virtual cultural resources and student engagement activities. A partnership with the Mastercard Foundation funded five student internships, as well as 150 emergency and technology bursaries to support students through challenges created by the pandemic.

The internship wasn’t just about gaining professional skills. It felt like a way to support fellow students through a hard time. I’m so grateful I had this opportunity to give back and connect more with my Indigenous community.” - Devin Owpaluk

Read more about the impact of this partnership

A library team member standing at a desk using a laptop with a stack of laptops to his left..
UVic Libraries team member, Cedar Rain, clears the memory of laptops after they are returned to the loan desk. Credit: UVic Photo Services

Digitizing and enriching library resources

The COVID-19 pandemic meant users suddenly needed enhanced access to quality digital material quickly and efficiently. Support from donors allowed UVic Libraries to increase its digitization capacity, extend the mail-out service of print resources to graduate students across Canada and purchase 70 laptops to loan out.

This service has allowed me to be mobile while doing school, volunteering online and applying for jobs and scholarships. It has also saved me significant financial stress, and has given me a safe place to store my work and data even when I work from home. It's been an absolute life-saver for me.” - Andrea Janse van Rensburg, a fourth-year student who relied on laptop loans in the spring semester.

Read how donors bolstered UVic Libraries' pandemic response plan

Giving across the university

Of the $28.6 million in donor gifts this year...

  • 28% went to student awards
  • 22% to chairs and professorships (two new chairs and one professorship were established this year)
  • 20% to programs (includes mental health programming, lecture series, Vikes athletics and more)
  • 18% to buildings
  • 11% to research (helping fund strategic research areas like climate solutions and health initiatives)
  • 1% to the library.
A video camera pointed towards a student actor on a theatre set.
Students learn new skills in the art of creating theatre for livestreaming, aided by professional equipment funded by donors. Credit: Olivia Zappone (third-year student, Visual Arts).

"We pay it forward"

Alumna Anne McLaughlin’s ties to the University of Victoria run deeper than most. For the past 33 years, Anne has been a generous donor, and this year was no exception. Recognizing the unique challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Anne spread a large contribution over several areas, including the theatre department. By funding livestream equipment for the Phoenix Theatre she helped provide valuable learning opportunities for students and ensure the shows could go on, despite the pandemic.

[The pandemic] was really tough on students because a lot of university is the life beyond the classroom. You’ve got to keep the Phoenix [theatre] going, and if they aren’t able to have people in person in the audience, you have to help them do what they have to do.” - Anne McLaughlin

Learn more about Anne's support for UVic students

A student with long, dark hair sits in front of a large photo showing Sikh people in 1914.
Baneet Hans sits by the monument for the Komagata Maru in Vancouver, which lists the names of the mostly Sikh passengers who were denied entry to Canada in 1914. Photo: Jeff Topham

Moving from learning to action

As awareness of pervasive racial inequality rises, donors are taking steps to address these issues through scholarships and bursaries that aim to reduce barriers to education for students from certain groups. There was a wave of new donor-funded awards established at UVic last year specifically for students identifying as Black, Indigenous or Persons of Colour (BIPOC). 

Baneet Hans is the first recipient of the new Scotiabank Scholarship for Law students. Baneet says this scholarship will help her build a career that supports marginalized groups and combats racism. “It takes the pressure off and makes it easier to pursue the avenues of work that I’m passionate about,” says Baneet.

I can’t expect the face of the legal profession to change if I myself am not willing to occupy spaces that make me uncomfortable. This scholarship helps as my peers and I blaze a path towards a more diverse legal field.”—Baneet Hans

Read about donors taking steps to address racial inequality through awards

The donor community

2,441 Ring Road Loyalty Circle Members

406 Monthly Giving Club Members

309 T.S. McPherson Legacy Society Members (donors who have left a gift in their will)

Donors who gave this year

A total of 4,962 donors made a gift in 2020/21.

  • 2,190 of those donors are alumni
  • 678 of those donors are faculty/staff
  • 1,731 of those donors are gave for the first time.
A woman smiles lovingly at a toddler in a hat who is looking curiously at a leaf in a wooded area.
Keisha Everson teaches Kwak̕̕wala words to her one-year-old son, Orion. Photo: UVic Photo Services

Restoring the natural flow of language transmission

Keisha Everson, whose traditional name is La̱lx̱sa̱n Dala’og̱wa, has made learning and teaching her grandmother’s language a priority in her life. While completing her master’s in Indigenous Language Revitalization, Keisha received a donor-funded award created in memory of her former professor, the late Dr. Trish Rosborough. The award deepened Keisha’s resolve to help revitalize the Kwak̕̕wala language within her family and community. “It was really validating of the work I am doing, have done and will continue to do,” says Keisha.

If I don't learn Kwak̕̕wala, then that disruption continues. And I'm not ok with that. It’s hard work, but it will only get harder for future generations. I’ll do anything I can to make sure my son grows up hearing the language." - Keisha Everson

Read more of Keisha and Trish's story

A student wearing large black headphones is speaking into a professional microphone while seated at a desk in an office environment.
Cynthia McDowell is part of a team producing a podcast mini-series that shares first-hand stories about dementia and caregiving. Photo: UVic Photo Services

The healing power of music and connection

UVic’s research partnership with the Voices in Motion choir is helping reveal how lifestyle interventions can help people with dementia and their care partners. A digital health research scholarship gave master’s student Cynthia McDowell the time and resources to dive back into the project data to better understand the effects on participants’ cognitive function. She is now sharing the findings with community.

"It is important to me that I not only pursue my academic ambitions and research goals, but also turn the research into clinical application and help targeted populations. Receiving this award has enabled me to do that.” - Cynthia McDowell

More on how this scholarship is supporting Cynthia's research

Understanding your support

$28.6 million total received in donations in 2020/21 (a 50% increase from last year)

  • $11.7 million directed to the endowment (the current value of the endowment is now $525 million)
  • $5.4 million to capital (including $5 million for the National Centre for Indigenous Laws)
  • $11.5 million to annual (these donations can be spent right away).

Thank you

During this extremely challenging year, support from donors has helped UVic adapt and meet the changing needs of students, researchers and the wider community. You’ve shown generosity and loyalty, along with the will to take positive action and drive change.

Now it’s time to look forward.

In my term as president, I’m committed to engaging deeply with communities locally and globally. I will focus on sustainability, advancing equity, diversity and inclusion, and widening access to education. Our strong donor community will be a key partner for the UVic I envision—and I’m excited to imagine what we can achieve together.

With gratitude,
Kevin Hall
President and Vice-Chancellor 

Download the 2021 Report to Donors

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