Some exciting news for the University of Calgary today. Local businessman and UofC alumnus Geoffrey Cumming made an incredible gift of $100 million to the University’s medical faculty. The gift is one of the largest philanthropic gifts ever given to a Canadian university and the largest ever bestowed to an Alberta post-secondary institution.
Today, Irving and Dianne Kipnes announced that they would be donating $5 million towards lymphedema research at the University of Calgary. Dianne, who suffers from lymphedema as a result of her cervical cancer treatment, hopes the gift will help others get the help they need. It is estimated that up to 60 per cent of cancer survivors are or will face a situation of lymphedema.
Their donation will assist the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine and the Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases.
I want to congratulate both Irv and Dianne on their wonderful gift. Philanthropy such as this makes a huge contribution to important university research, and their donation will help raise awareness about this serious and little-understood disease.
Yesterday morning, a dear friend and mentor of mine passed away. An outstanding lawyer and business leader, Jim Palmer was recognized for his passion for politics and his devotion to the Calgary community. I had the privilege of working for him for a short period, and I learned a great deal from his example.
Both Jim’s story and his legacy are truly remarkable.
Though born on Prince Edward Island, he was an Albertan through and through. Practicing law for over 50 years in Calgary, Jim helped establish his firm, Burnet, Duckworth and Palmer, as a major player in the oil industry. He was also heavily involved in politics, fund raising for the Liberal Party and serving as an adviser in the West to former prime minister Paul Martin.
But perhaps what Jim is most celebrated for is his community involvement. Over the course of 50 years, Jim supported organizations like the Calgary Homeless Foundation, United Way of Calgary, the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity. He was also a tremendous supporter of arts & culture in Calgary, and was acknowledged by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra for his many contributions. After serving as Chancellor at the University of Calgary, Jim helped raise $40 million for its capital campaign and was the driving force behind the creation of the University’s School of Public Policy in 2009.
Jim’s philanthropy, distinguished public service and leadership in the Calgary community were a great inspiration to me and to many Calgarians. He was deservingly recognized for his many contributions with the Alberta Order of Excellence and the Order of Canada.
He will be dearly missed.
Senator Doug Black The Senate of Canada Ottawa, ON K1A 0A4