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THE INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN in support of strategic priorities of the University of Prince Edward Island was launched on October 2, 2015.

Building upon our impressive heritage of educational excellence, with roots in our founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and St. Dunstan’s University—UPEI is launching a campaign that will ensure the University continues to evolve and deliver the exceptional learning experiences and opportunities that prepare our students for success.

We have a sense of purpose, a strong plan, and an ambitious goal to raise $50 million. Of this goal $30 million (60%) has already been raised.

THE INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN has four key priorities that align with the University’s strategic plan—Engineering, Experiential and Global Learning, Veterinary Medicine, and Athletics. Advancements in these areas will expand our programming, transform the student experience, build our Panther Pride, and showcase our expertise.

We invite you to share our excitement as, together, we expand our horizons, create opportunities, and inspire a culture of success.

Read the INSPIRE! Case for Support document

(L-R) Mr. John Horrelt, Vice-Chair, Athletics; Mr. Blair MacLauchlan, Vice-Chair, Engineering; Mr. J. Gordon MacKay, Chair, THE INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN; Ms. Donna Hassard, Vice-Chair, Veterinary Medicine; Mr. Ray Keenan, Vice-Chair, Global and Experiential Learning; Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, President and Vice-Chancellor; missing from photo Dr. Don McDougall, Chancellor; and Mr. Dana Kenny, President, UPEI Student Union.

Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz
President and Vice-Chancellor

At its heart, THE INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN is about creating opportunities for people—and especially for our students—by ensuring capacity to advance priorities identified in our strategic plan: student experience, vibrant communities, research and discovery, and long-term sustainability. With your support, and building upon our impressive heritage of educational excellence, UPEI will continue to evolve and will deliver the exceptional learning experiences and opportunities that prepare our students for success.


Dr. Don McDougall

The University of Prince Edward Island has an outstanding and progressive history of academic excellence. Generations of graduates—over 23,000 alumni from more than 50 countries—have gone on to excel in their careers and contribute to their communities as valued and informed members of society. It is a privilege to engage in THE INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN to ensure that UPEI continues to be positioned to offer the highest levels of educational experience and opportunity to our current and future students.


Mr. J. Gordon MacKay

Over several decades, and in many roles, I have been privileged to be involved with UPEI—as a student, varsity athlete, booster club participant, donor, and member of the Board of Governors; and recently as an alumnus (MBA Class of 2014). I am delighted to serve as chair of THE INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN in support of the important goals of the University of Prince Edward Island. I look forward to chairing this campaign that will advance UPEI’s leadership role in the education and success of future generations.


Mr. Dana Kenny
President, UPEI Student Union

I’m proud to be a member of UPEI’s INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN Cabinet. As President of the Student Union, I am pleased that the campaign's goals and priorities have been structured to benefit current and future students across all areas and disciplines. It is wonderful to be a part of this campaign, and to experience the energy of the University and the community working together to ensure that students have every opportunity imaginable to achieve their dreams.


Campaign Cabinet Vice-Chairs


Mr. Blair MacLauchlan
Vice-Chair, Engineering

Blair MacLauchlan is a visionary businessman, an entrepreneur, and a leader in the engineering profession. He is president of Island Coastal, a company involved in road building and major construction. Other companies, including Island Petroleum, have grown under his leadership. An honorary life member of the PEI Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, Blair has served in a voluntary capacity with many organizations including as president of the Atlantic and PEI Road Builders, and as a board member of the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce, and Junior Achievement PEI.


Mr. Ray Keenan
Vice-Chair, Global and Experiential Learning

Ray Keenan is a well-known potato producer, and co-owner of Rollo Bay holdings, one of the largest agricultural entities in eastern PEI. He is chair of the United Potato Growers of Canada, a position he has held since 2008. In 2014 he was named to the Smart and Caring Community Building Fund Advisory Committee. He serves as chair, and remains a member, of the PEI Business Hall of Fame Board of Governors, and served on the 2008 Commission on the Future of Agriculture and Agri-food in PEI. In 2012 he received the Council of the Federation Literacy Award for Prince Edward Island.


Ms. Donna Hassard
Vice-Chair, Veterinary Medicine

Donna Hassard is a dedicated member of the extended Atlantic Veterinary College community. She and her husband Richard served as co-chairs of the 2005 AVC capital campaign that raised funds for the AVC expansion and renovation project. Donna is committed to education that furthers progressive human-animal interactions. She currently volunteers with a pet therapy program through Therapeutic Paws of Canada, and has served with several organizations including the American SPCA, and as a board member of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of PEI.


Mr. John Horrelt
Vice-Chair, Athletics

John Horrelt is an entrepreneur with interests in the retail, property development, and construction sectors. An engaged and energetic community volunteer, John is a member of the PEI Canadian Mental health Association Board of Directors, having recently completed his second term as president. He serves on several other volunteer boards, including as president of the Adventure Group, and has broad volunteer experience within amateur sport. He is a long time supporter and community champion of UPEI’s Department of Athletics and Recreation, and the Panther varsity teams.

UPEI has a long and proud history of educational excellence. Our success and that of our students has been achieved by fulfilling our educational mission and continually embracing opportunities to invest in the progress of our students, University, and community. THE INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN will allow the University to accomplish important initiatives that advance our vision to lead in the delivery of outstanding experiential learning opportunities, create new knowledge, inspire our students to achieve their full potential, and develop tomorrow's leaders who will emerge from their studies ready to excel in the global community.

We invite you to share our excitement and pride as, together, we expand our horizons and inspire a culture of success.

THE INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN has four areas of priority:

ENGINEERING Campaign Priority

$23 million—School of Sustainable Design Engineering Building and Four-Year Degree Program

$10 million—Centre of Design Engineering and Industry Partnerships

Funded $24.4M | To Be Raised $8.6M


In May 2017, UPEI's new School of Sustainable Design Engineering will graduate its first class of four-year design engineering degree recipients. They will be the first of their kind in Canada.

From day one, these engineers will be connected to industry and steeped in project-based team learning through an industry-driven model based on real-world collaboration, problem solving, and innovation. Upon graduation, these highly trained engineers will be ready to excel in performance-based professional environments.

Unique among engineering programs in Canada because of its emphasis on design, the new School of Sustainable Design Engineering will have three focus areas: mechatronics, bioresources, and sustainable energy. Students can pursue UPEI's new four-year Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design Engineering, or, as in the past, transfer to regional institutions offering traditional engineering options upon completion of the first two years of their program.

The addition of the unique Sustainable Design Engineering degree enhances UPEI's program offerings and will attract students who recognize the value of world-class specialized engineering education.

UPEI's new 75,000 square-foot School of Sustainable Design Engineering building will house:

  • a factory floor for hands-on and active learning, including assembly, prototype testing, and experimentation using 3D printers and state-of-the-art fabrication equipment:;
  • the Centre of Engineering Design and Industry Partnerships, with four centres of excellence in robotics, sustainable energy, food processing, and sensory and sortation. Students will work on pilot industrial research and development projects:
  • design studios for the creation of sustainable processes, products, and systems that improve lives and enhance society; and
  • smart boardrooms and seminar spaces for client-centered facilitation, mentoring, and project management.

The Sustainable Design Engineering degree program is an outstanding initiative, building upon a long and successful history of engineering education at UPEI. Recognizing the value of the new School of Sustainable Design Engineering to the economy of the entire region, the provincial government has pledged $16 million for the School, and the federal government announced $6 million for the new Centre of Engineering Design and Industry Partnerships.

Through THE INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN, the University is seeking additional resources to ensure that students have access to the most advanced technology and equipment within the program. Construction of the building is underway, and students are applying. It's a great time to be an engineering student at UPEI!

We welcome your interest and involvement.

"The word will spread quickly. Once employers learn that graduates will be industry ready right away, it will be a distinct advantage for us."

Andrew Simmons
Third-year Engineering
Visit the Engineering website



$7.5 million—Entrance Scholarships, Global and Experiential Learning Opportunities

Funded $3M | To Be Raised $4.5M

A UPEI EDUCATION EXPANDS YOUR HORIZONS—beyond the classroom—into the community—and around the globe. We're students of the world!

UPEI recognizes the need for additional entrance scholarships and access to global and active learning experiences for our students, and is seeking support to enhance these educational opportunities. The University's strategic plan calls for all UPEI students to have the opportunity to participate in active or international learning activities during the course of their studies.

Entrance scholarships recognize academic excellence and potential, and provide essential financial support and encouragement to student recipients as they begin their post-secondary studies. International and/or active educational experiences offer UPEI students opportunities to learn, and contribute, in different environments and cultures. Students gain perspective, knowledge, and confidence—becoming informed, aware, and capable of understanding complex issues.

UPEI currently has more than 100 student mobility partnerships in place worldwide (including active bilateral exchange agreements, School of Nursing clinical placements, and Faculty of Education practicums); but less than 100 students annually engage in international learning activities, often due to the prohibitive cost of participation.

As a requirement of the Faculty of Education's International and Indigenous Education specializations, between 25 and 30 education students travel each year to an out-of-country or remote location for six-week placements. Approximately 15 nursing students access international clinical placements annually; and 30 students from various faculties participate each year in longer-term (six-month to one-year) student exchange programs.

The entire fourth-year DVM program involves experiential learning though "internal" rotations—short-term travel under the supervision of an AVC faculty member, to, for example, Thailand (shrimp), Kenya (dairy cattle), Québec (ruminant medicine), or the Yukon (wildlife rotation); or "external" rotations to zoos, private clinics, or research facilities, under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

These learning opportunities are life altering, but all require financial resources. With the generous assistance of donors who recognize the importance of global learning, UPEI plans to increase the number of students participating in such experiences to 400 in the near future. As a result, more student nurses will learn about critical differences in global health care; more arts, science, and business students will understand the importance of cross-cultural communications and serving communities; more education students will discover new ways to learn and teach; and more veterinary students will experience animal care procedures, practice challenges, and research options and needs, worldwide.

Thanks to your generous contributions more students will be able to attend UPEI and once here, they will have the opportunity to be educated—and inspired—by active and global learning experiences.

"Studying abroad provided me with a valuable opportunity to take courses in international business, allowed me to experience unfamiliar countries and new perspectives, and make lasting friendships and connections with fellow students from all around the world!

Rebecca Dawson
Fourth-year Business Administration
Visit the International Relations website


$5.5 million—Advancement Fund

Funded $2.5M | To Be Raised $3M


Located in Atlantic Canada, the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) is a leading educational and research institution known internationally for its highly-trained graduate veterinarians, world-class researchers, and collaborative spirit.

Jointly funded by the four Atlantic provinces, the College welcomes students from each contributing province. More than 1,300 AVC graduates use the knowledge and expertise they gained at AVC in private practice, academia, research, industry, not-for-profit, and government settings around the world.

AVC's researchers are involved in collaborations to help solve problems and challenges affecting the health of animals and people—here and abroad. The College's aquatic animal health team is pioneering science that will help provide the world's growing—and increasingly hungry—population with healthy fish—a high-quality source of protein. Other researchers are working with farmers in Atlantic Canada and as far away as Africa and South America to improve the health and productivity of dairy cattle, thus enhancing milk quality and driving economic growth. Still others are seeking solutions to health problems affecting people—heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, epilepsy, to name a few. 

Built into the College's research program are opportunities for veterinary and graduate students to work alongside researchers renowned in their fields, thus deepening students' skill sets and knowledge.

The College's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, the only full-service veterinary referral hospital in Atlantic Canada, is known for its compassionate and professional care for animals—large and small. Students learn from highly respected clinicians to provide the best possible medical care to animals—on-site in the hospital and off-site at land-based farms and aquaculture sites in the region and beyond. 

Veterinary science is constantly evolving, and AVC must continually upgrade to keep pace with technology. Students must have the opportunity to work with the most advanced diagnostic and research equipment so their skills exceed industry expectations upon graduation. They will use the expertise gained at AVC to improve the health and well being of animals and people worldwide.

Your support will inspire our students to become the most highly qualified veterinarians and researchers of tomorrow.

"The Atlantic Veterinary College takes great pride in graduating highly competent 'practice-ready' veterinarians. Together with our instructors, students focus on improving animal care and making discoveries that benefit animals and people. To accomplish this, AVC needs to ensure that graduates enter the veterinary profession with the right training and experience to succeed."

Mila Profit
AVC Class of 2017
Visit the AVC website


ATHLETICS Campaign Priority

$4 million—Equipment, Training, and Competition Opportunities

Funded $100K |To Be Raised $3.9M


Many Islanders live and breathe UPEI varsity sports, demonstrating tremendous pride in the accomplishments of our student athletes. In return our athletes give back to the community in various ways, and at every opportunity, in appreciation for the outpouring of support they receive.

Whether offering sessions teaching hockey skills to newcomers to Canada, raising money for medical research, providing sports camps for children, or getting together as a team to provide hope and encouragement to a family in distress, the UPEI Panthers are involved, demonstrating the depth of their many ties to community.

While excelling in athletic competition—the UPEI Men's Soccer Panthers earned a Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) bronze medal in 2014—Panther athletes are also focused on academics. In 2013-14, 75 of UPEI's 182 varsity athletes were named CIS Academic All-Canadians for maintaining an academic standing of 80 per cent or higher. That means 41 per cent of UPEI Panthers achieved this honour—one of the highest percentages of accomplishment of any university in Canada.

When student athletes are busy training, studying, and serving the community, precious little time remains available for them to devote to fundraising  to ensure their teams are properly equipped and prepared to remain competitive on a national level. For this reason UPEI seeks to establish a $4 million fund to help cover these costs. We need your support.

Dual varsity athlete Cole MacMillan says his fellow athletes recognize the importance of community support—both financial and inspirational.

"When we know the community is behind us and has confidence in where we are going, we put in that extra effort," he says. "We have no problem fundraising in support of our teams, but realistically, on our own, we can't come up with the amount of money that is needed. The support from community and donors is much more crucial to us than people probably realize."

A $4 million athletics fund, directed to enhancing the UPEI student athlete experience, will provide opportunities to upgrade or replace equipment,  improve fields of play, and attract and develop talented athletes who recognize that the University and its community supports and inspires their athletic and academic goals. Student athletes will confidently fulfill their potential while furthering the great tradition of Panther Pride throughout the province and country.

"We support each other. We understand the close-knit community feeling here on the Island, and we understand the power of teamwork. Any chance we have to support the community, we're always there."

Cole MacMillan
4th-year Arts (Sociology) and Panther athlete (Soccer and Hockey)
Visit the UPEI Panthers website


The Inspire! Campaign goal is $50 million.

We are well on our way to meeting that target. The provincial government has committed $16 million for the new School of Sustainable Design Engineering. The federal government has committed $6 million in support of the Centre of Design Engineering and Industry Partnerships. An additional $8 million has been contributed through private donors. $20 million remains to be raised within the community. Enthusiasm and support are building on campus and around the province as people are inspired by the importance of the student opportunities and programs that will be funded by this campaign.

UPEI is an extraordinary school of advanced learning. The beautiful campus offers outstanding facilities and a safe environment where student minds are nourished by a world-class faculty. In my experience, UPEI excels at fostering creativity and producing leaders. This exciting INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN initiative will ensure that legacy flourishes to the benefit of all.

William D. Stanish,
Professor Emeritus, Dalhousie University,
Halifax, Nova Scotia

As a UPEI business program graduate and former varsity athlete, I am proud to call myself a UPEI Alumna. I see UPEI as a university continually transforming to prepare global citizens to meet global challenges through academic initiatives such as the new Engineering program. I also see a university that stays immersed and grounded in the local community through its highly competitive Panther teams, facilities, and community activities. I am proud to call UPEI home.

Heather Howatt, BBA'91
Managing Partner,
Results Marketing & Advertising PEI Inc.,
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

The importance of THE INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN to the goals of the University of Prince Edward Island cannot be overstated. It enables the University to build upon its strengths; it enhances the overall student experience; it extends UPEI’s research capacity and, most importantly, adds to the best possible environment within which students and faculty can excel. It’s very exciting!

Bill LeClair, BBA'70
Barrister & Solicitor,
LeClair Thibeault,
Calgary, Alberta

UPEI, its programs, graduates, scientists, and research capabilities are critical to Prince Edward Island’s ability to attract partners from around the world. We must nurture these connections and actively engage in the global community, to ensure that our province prospers.

Rory Francis
Executive Director,
PEI BioAlliance Inc.,
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

(L-R) Mr. Blair MacLauchlan, Vice-Chair, Engineering; Mr. John Horrelt, Vice-Chair, Athletics; Ms. Donna Hassard, Vice-Chair, Veterinary Medicine; Mr. J. Gordon MacKay, Chair, THE INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN; Ms. Myrtle Jenkins-Smith, Executive Director, Development and Alumni Engagement; Mr. Ray Keenan, Vice-Chair, Global and Experiential Learning; Mr. Bruce Donaldson, Associate Director, Development and Alumni Engagement; Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, President and Vice-Chancellor; missing from photo Dr. Don McDougall, Chancellor; and Mr. Dana Kenny, President, UPEI Student Union.


Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, President and Vice-Chancellor
Dr. Don McDougall, Chancellor
(902) 566-0400

Mr. J. Gordon MacKay, Chair, THE INSPIRE! CAMPAIGN
Mr. Dana Kenny, President, UPEI Student Union
Mr. Blair MacLauchlan, Vice-Chair, Engineering
Mr. Ray Keenan, Vice-Chair, Global and Experiential Learning
Ms. Donna Hassard, Vice-Chair, Veterinary Medicine
Mr. John Horrelt, Vice-Chair, Athletics
(902) 566-0415

Ms. Myrtle Jenkins-Smith, Executive Director
Development and Alumni Engagement
(902) 566-6066

Mr. Bruce Donaldson, Associate Director
Development and Alumni Engagement
(902) 566-0354

University of Prince Edward Island
550 University Avenue
Charlottetown, PE
Canada  C1A 4P3