Co-written by Betelhem Wondimu
On Monday November 9, Trent announced ‘a generous gift of $1 million’ from David and Joan Moore. Long-time Trent supporters, Dr. Moore has also served as an honorary board member.
As part of Trent’s $50 million milestone campaign “Unleash the Potential”, the announcement was made at an event celebrating Philanthropy Day. Ms Booth, Campaign Director, said this initiative is part of the $50 million campaign, which was inspired by Trent’s 50th anniversary last year. So far, the campaign has met 85% of its target figure.
This announcement is the first step in a campaign to develop Bata Library. After this, there will be consultation with students, staff, and faculty, and then there will be additional calls for proposals.
Dr. Moore said he was giving the money – the ‘generous gift’ – because he wanted to give something back to the Trent community, which has welcomed him so warmly, and because he has been mesmerised by the campus’ beauty. Having recently toured Bata, he had noted the possibilities for even greater development of the library’s space.
The money will be used to innovate the study spaces. In his speech, Dr. Moore spoke of the possibilities associated with increased digitisation of the library’s role. This could involve more efficient filing and storage systems in order to open up more physical space for teaching and learning. Dr. Moore said that he would like students to take a strong role in deciding the nature of the renovations. This donation comes on the back of a 2014 plan for Bata Library, which involves the development of spaces for “collaboration and learning.”
Dr. Leo Groarke, Trent President and Vice-Chancellor, underscored the significance of donations like that of the Moores’ as not only a gift of money, but a ‘gift of time,’ too. This donation follows that of Trent alumnus Stephen Stohn, who provided $1 million towards the University’s new Student Centre.
Trent students Alaine Spiwack and Ngina Kibathi explained how Bata Library is a central part of every student’s life, and how such an initiative would be vital in adding to students’ Trent Experience. Calvin Ncube, President of the Trent Economics Society, already has some ideas, suggesting Trent “improve the Wi-Fi system followed by media hubs that provide a platform for innovation and development.”
British exchange student Chris Chiam said, “The library is already a great space to study, and further development inside can only be a positive.” The library will be building upon solid foundations.
The campaign is on the back of $10 million of philanthropy last year to Trent, $7 million of which has come from the ‘Trent family.’ These funds are a key contribution towards bursaries and scholarships, an area where Trent performs strongly. Trent was recently voted the best University in Ontario for bursaries and scholarships.