A generous history, a future of discovery

University of Alberta alumnus donates $5 million to medical programs.


(Edmonton) An inspired past at the University of Alberta has encouraged a former history student to change the future of medicine with a $5-million bequest gift (donor’s name withheld by request).

The donor’s remarkable personal history includes writing dozens of publications and teaching for more than 23 years at universities across Canada including Waterloo, McGill and Western Ontario. Still, the U of A left an impression.

“In 1960, I was invited by the head of history at the U of A to complete a doctoral fellowship, offered with funding,” he said. He finished the program in three years, a feat that may not have been possible without financial support. “Giving back is a debt of gratitude. I owe the University of Alberta everything. I owe them my entire career. It really feels like leaving a gift to family.”

The donation has been designated to the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. “My father died when I was 20 years old, and my uncle, a father figure, also died several years later from cancer. I feel like the funds will have a chance to make an impact and create change in the medical field,” he explained.

While the donation will fund an endowed chair in medicine, specific research and program designations have been left to the discretion of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. “The impact of this support is monumental,” said David Evans, vice-dean of research in the faculty. “It allows our scientists and clinicians to collaborate and leverage their strengths to place laser focus on determining exactly what cause of a disease needs to be attacked and overcome in order to provide the best care for the patient.”

But for the generous donor, the funds shouldn’t only create a brighter future in the field of medicine: “I would like other University of Alberta alumni to consider giving a bequest gift as well, and together making a greater impact on the next generation of graduates.”

For more information on bequest giving, please contact:

Michele Shea
Director, Planned Giving
University of Alberta
Phone: 780-492-2394
Toll Free (North America): 1-888-799-9899
Email: michele.shea@ualberta.ca