The Faculty of Medicine was renamed the Cumming School of Medicine in June 2014 when University of Calgary alumnus and businessman Geoffrey Cumming donated $100 million for medical research. The largest single donation to the university in its history was matched by the Government of Alberta in a surprise announcement by Alberta Premier Dave Hancock during the celebration of Mr Cumming’s gift. The $200 million in combined funding for the School is one of the largest single investments in medical research to a Canadian university.
“This gift of $100 million will create long-term sustainable funding for our research programs, allowing our university to exponentially expand medical research and attract the world’s top researchers” said President Elizabeth Cannon. “The Cumming School of Medicine will innovate solutions to solve pressing health challenges through cutting-edge medical research.” Premier Hancock added, “This initiative will solidify Alberta’s position as a global leader in the area of medical research, to help save lives, to improve quality of life and bring medical breakthroughs to the world.”
Joined by family members and 600 invited guests, Geoffrey Cumming explained the impetus for his extraordinary gift. “I wanted to create genuine, impactful advances in medical science which will make our society and the world better. Making this donation today is one of the greatest pleasures in my life and I’m particularly keen to see how this large-scale medical program unfolds over the next two to three decades.” The funding is intended to build on the School’s internationally recognized strengths, particularly in the two priority areas of brain and mental health; and infections, inflammation and chronic diseases.
2014 was also marked by the University of Calgary’s entry into the list of top 10 universities in the world under 50 years of age. The university was ranked as the top-ranked young university in Canada for the fourth year in a row, but its international ranking leaped over four other schools to become the 9th best in the world among universities established after 1964.