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United Way campaign sets big goals

As donations come in for this year’s Mount Royal United Way campaign, co-chair and dean of the faculty of arts Jeff Keshen has his eye on continuing to grow the university’s contribution.

This year’s campaign aims to raise $50,000, almost 10 per cent higher than last year’s total amount. Keshen says a big factor in raising more funds is the approach to this year’s campaign.

“Our goal this year was to engage more people as part of the committee so they could take it out into different areas and undertake more projects that would raise awareness of the importance of the United Way and permeate the idea that as a university we have a responsibility to undertake projects that are for the improvement of our community.

“Since Mount Royal prides itself on being a community we really tapped into that, and we’re seeing a lot of people who really want to contribute,” Keshen says.

So far Mount Royal has held a number events to raise funds, such as shaving the beard off of business professor Jim Fischer, selling fruit for pocket change, an airplane pull at the Calgary International airport and a United Way carnival.



MRU students and staff attempt to pull a plane at the Calgary International Airport to raise money for their annual United Way campaign on Sept. 18. The MRU team raised $1,400 from the pull.

~Photo courtesy Cameron Perrier


Students stand outDuring this campaign, Keshen is thinking about the heart and soul of the fundraising efforts: Mount Royal students.

“Our students here have a tremendous social conscience and commitment that’s already there,” he says.

“We talk about instilling the value of citizenship, and I think they already have it. They have it in spades at Mount Royal. What (the United Way) gives them is a venue to give life to the sense of commitment and dedication and idealism.”


The Mount Royal University United Way team raised $1,400 from a plane pull at the Calgary International Airport on Sept. 18.

~Photo courtesy Cameron Perrier

He recalls a moment when speaking to a sociology class about the campaign, and he asked how many had been affected by the economic downturn hurting the province. A number of students raised their hands.

“A lot of students know first-hand the suffering of people due to the economic downturn,” he says. However, he adds the need for the United Way and other projects giving to those in need will always be necessary, even for the most buoyant economies.

The United Way campaign at Mount Royal will wrap up at the end of November. Until then, there will still be a number of ways for the university to reach its monetary goal:

Nov. 2, 2016 — Cameron Perrier