General News News Releases

CONNECT Campaign Reaches $8.4-Million

CONNECT CMU exterior night 5webJanuary 29, 2013 – Thanks to its committed volunteer fundraisers and donors, Canadian Mennonite University’s Board of Directors has unanimously agreed to move ahead with plans for construction of the CMU Library & Learning Commons and Bridge in 2013. The Board’s decision was prompted in part by positive momentum in fundraising which saw gifts and pledges grow from approximately $5.4-million in October 2012 to $8.4-million as of January 1, 2013.

“Our CMU Board concluded that the time is right to move ahead, thanks to the generous commitments thus far of a diverse and growing community of supporters,” says CMU President Cheryl Pauls in announcing the Board’s decision to proceed. “Our constituencies are clearly behind this project and want it to proceed at the earliest possible time, as a means to benefit both our University and the broader community.”

“It is gratifying to reach the $8.4-million level this early in the public phase of our CONNECT capital campaign,” says Campaign Chair Elmer Hildebrand, who is C.E.O. of Golden West

Broadcasting Co. Ltd. “While the end-goal of the CONNECT campaign remains set at $12.6- million, the generosity of CMU supporters puts the University in a position to move confidently into the building phase and the final stretch of fully funding this important project. This Board decision will continue to build positive momentum for the Campaign.”

Next steps are for the project architects (ft3) to complete final drawings by March 1.

“At that point, we will seek City of Winnipeg permits and put the project out to tender through the builder, Concord Projects Ltd.,” says Pauls. “Once the tenders come in, we will establish the construction start date, which is likely to be early summer 2013.”

“We have reached this phase thanks to the remarkable support of our donors and the excellent leadership by our CONNECT Campaign cabinet members – Chair Elmer Hildebrand, Art DeFehr, Philipp R. Ens, Bill Fast, Janice Filmon, Bert Friesen, Charles Loewen, Jake Rempel, and Tamara Roehr,” says Pauls. “There is a groundswell of support as a result of people across the country catching the vision of what this project can be. Now that we are close enough for people to know that this is really happening, it is helping our campaign.”

The CONNECT Campaign will establish a Library & Learning Commons at the heart of CMU’s Shaftesbury campus in south Winnipeg, generating vital resources and services, study and collaborative spaces, and welcoming the constituency and broader community into the life of the University. The project integrates CMU’s Bookstore with Mennonite Church Canada’s Resource Centre, and in addition includes a cafe and a pedestrian bridge to span Grant Avenue, connecting the new library to CMU’s south side campus and providing safe passage for the CMU University community.

For Campaign information:

Visit CMU’s CONNECT campaign website:

Contact CMU Director of Development Abe Bergen |