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CONNECT Campaign reaches $14.4 million goal

A fundraising campaign to build Marpeck Commons, the library, learning commons, and bridge at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU), has reached its goal.

“It is our great pleasure and gratitude to announce that the CONNECT Campaign goal of $14.4 million has been achieved in gifts and commitments,” CMU President Dr. Cheryl Pauls said during a speech she gave on Saturday, November 25 at the university’s annual Christmas concert.

Marpeck Commons, housing the CMU Library, CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre, folio café, and a learning commons.

Plans for Marpeck Commons started taking shape in 2009, when leadership at CMU began envisioning a building that would get the university’s library out of the basement, as well as create a learning commons with light and space.

The building would include a pedestrian bridge linking the two sides of CMU’s Shaftesbury campus and ensuring safe passageway across Grant Avenue. It would be a space drawing together the community within and surrounding CMU—the community of students, staff, and faculty, as well as the community of neighbours and constituents.

That dream became a reality when CMU opened the doors of Marpeck Commons on January 5, 2015.

Since then, Marpeck Commons has had a measurable and transformative impact for CMU students, faculty, and the broader community. The CMU Library, for example, annually receives more than three times the number of visitors it received in its previous location.

The building includes an inviting café, along with a bookstore and resource centre with the most extensive selection of theological resources anywhere in the province.

The pedestrian bridge, which spans Grant Avenue, connects the north and south sides of CMU’s Shaftesbury campus.

This has been the largest fundraising campaign in CMU’s history.

Nine hundred donors contributed, with 60 per cent of those contributions coming from Manitoba and 40 per cent coming from out of province. The donations included those of alumni and supporters who purchased 459 engraved bridge tiles.

“We are honoured by the generous investment of 900 families, individuals, foundations, and churches who collectively paid for the whole of Marpeck Commons,” Pauls said. “Their vision has created a cherished gathering place, which we are delighted to share with thousands of people annually.”

The volunteer leadership of the CONNECT Campaign Cabinet, a group characterized by deep generosity and vision, has been critical to the success of this fundraising endeavour.

Led by campaign chair Elmer Hildebrand, CEO of Golden West Broadcasting, Ltd, the cabinet included Arthur DeFehr, Philipp R. Ens, Bill Fast, Janice Filmon, Albert Friesen, Charles Loewen, Jake Rempel, and Tamara Roehr.

“I am really pleased with the way all of the members of our campaign cabinet stepped up to meet the challenge,” Hildebrand said. “It was a real pleasure to work with this group of visionary and generous individuals.”

 

 

About CMU
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 900 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program.

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

 

 

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Marpeck Commons Grand Opening and Dedication (video)

“We are honoured to open this spectacular space to the university community and the communities surrounding CMU,” says CMU President Cheryl Pauls. “Marpeck Commons will be the hub of the campus and of a vibrant learning community. It’s a great place for formal and informal gathering, and we’re excited about the quality of conversation and study that will happen there.”

Pauls adds that the bridge offers coherence to the CMU campus by providing students, staff, and guests a safe and accessible way across Grant Ave.

Central to Marpeck Commons is the library. The library is vital to CMU’s effectiveness in connecting students with one another and with the expertise and mentoring of faculty, librarians, and staff.

Marpeck Commons also houses CommonWord, a book and resource centre created in partnership with Mennonite Church Canada that will allow users to buy, borrow, and download a wide range of resources, as well as a coffee and snack bar called Folio Café.

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Library, learning commons, and bridge building project continues to move forward

Variance-2$9.3-million raised, variance approved, and tendering begun

Winnipeg, May 2, 2013 – Following the celebrations of the 2013 Graduation Exercises at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) comes more exciting news—the university’s newest building project is a few steps closer to becoming a reality.

Construction of the CMU Library & Learning Commons and Bridge is slated to begin early this summer after the university’s variance application was approved on Wednesday, April 24 at a Board of Adjustment hearing at City Hall. CMU needed permission to build the library closer to Grant Avenue than is permitted under City regulations, and the City approved its request.

With this approval, CMU entered a two-week period during which immediately adjacent neighbours can contest the variance, though no concerns about this project have come forward.

Paula Havixbeck, City Councillor for Charleswood-Tuxedo, spoke at the hearing and offered strong affirmation of CMU’s presence within the community and of how the new Library and Bridge will further strengthen this capacity.

“I am excited about this project and what it brings to the community,” Havixbeck said at the hearing. “This is an opportunity to bring the community together and to have more places to meet.”

The design process is nearing completion, and Concord Projects Ltd.—the project’s contractor—will issue tender documents this week. The tendering process will last approximately three weeks.

CMU Vice President External Terry Schellenberg says one of the reasons he is excited about the project is that the Library & Learning Commons will include both a café and a ‘conversation corner’ in which events such as book launches, readings, stand-up receptions, and opportunities for engaged conversation of significant issues to CMU and the broader community will be hosted.

“The café and Commons will foster interaction, story-telling, and conversation, all with the technical capacity to capture and communicate these stories in multiple formats, including audio, video, and on the web,” Schellenberg says. “We want to invite the surrounding community into conversation and make CMU a meeting place.”

The project is being funded by gifts raised by the CONNECT fundraising campaign. Under the leadership of Campaign Chair Elmer Hildebrand, who is CEO of Golden West Broadcasting, the campaign has raised $9.3-million of its $12.6-million goal. Approximately 300 donors have contributed to the campaign.

“We feel deeply humbled and grateful for the leadership from Elmer and other Campaign Cabinet members, as well as for the engagement of the donors who are supporting the campaign and making this dream for CMU a reality,” says CMU President Cheryl Pauls.

In addition to the café, the project integrates CMU’s Bookstore with Mennonite Church Canada’s Resource Centre, and includes 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.

Planned for the heart of CMU’s Shaftesbury campus in south Winnipeg, the Library & Learning Commons will generate vital resources and services, study and collaborative spaces, and welcome the constituency and broader community into the life of the University.

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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: www.cmu.ca/connect

Contact CMU Director of Development Abe Bergen | agbergen@cmu.ca

 

 

 

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CONNECT Campaign Launches at $5.5 Million

October 26, 2012 – With the backing of friends and supporters of the Canadian Mennonite Community across Canada and throughout North America, the 13-year-old University in Manitoba is kicking off the public phase of a major $11-million capital campaign to construct a new Library and Learning Commons and  Pedestrian Bridge.

“We are excited to announce campaign progress to date of over $5.5-million in support of this Campaign,” says Campaign Chair Elmer Hildebrand, C.E.O. of Golden West Broadcasting Co. Ltd. “With this level of support in hand, and with commitment anticipated from our extended community, we are confident that we

can be successful in providing CMU with this essential and exciting resource.”

CMU presented project renderings, prepared by Manitoba design firm Friesen Tokar, in June 2012, sharing its vision for the project and opening conversation within the community. By August, CMU announced strong support achieved by the CMU “family” campaign (CONNECT Campaign executive, board and council, faculty, staff, etc.), with over $4-million in lead gifts to get the campaign underway.

“Canadian Mennonite University opened its doors to students in 2000, thanks to the bold collaboration and committed imagination of a great many people,” says CMU President-elect Cheryl Pauls. “Since then, CMU has sustained its vision, graduating women and men who are making a life-giving difference in church and society. The new Library and Learning Commons will help CMU achieve its primary task as a university – that of building understandings that engage both the world and one another.”

“At its core,” says Pauls, “this library project is about a bold spirit and a transformation vision for CMU students, faculty, and the broader community. It draws attention to the vital support of church bodies, businesses, individuals, and government whose partnering and ongoing generosity enable this university to thrive.”

Marlene Janzen, Chair of the CMU Board and Council, notes that the Board is fully committed to backing a project that significantly enhances the learning experience at CMU. “This project will create wonderful spaces for students, faculty, and the community to connect,” says Janzen.

Supporting the campaign’s fundraising efforts are a dedicated group of CONNECT Campaign volunteers, including Campaign Chair Elmer Hildebrand and Campaign Executive Members Art DeFehr, Philipp R. Ens, Bill Fast, Janice Filmon, Bert Friesen, Charles Loewen, Jake Rempel, and Tamara Roehr, supported by the University’s Development team.

Library Director Vic Froese is keen to offer the benefits of the new library to students and to the community. “The Library will be more than a building,” says Froese. “It will be a place for people to study, collaborate, and research together. It will be a gathering place for meaningful conversation and learning. Well-designed surroundings make a real difference to the quality of learning and research.”

The Library will act as a learning commons at the heart and centre of CMU’s Shaftesbury campus, offering high quality services, important resources, and spacious new study areas. The facility will include mezzanine study rooms and a commons meeting area and will house the University’s substantial library collections, services, and technology. In addition, the new building will host a bookstore and resource centre and a vibrant café, providing the broader community with access to a fine array of resource materials and a forum for engaging dialogue.

One highly visible part of the project is construction of a Pedestrian Bridge to span Grant Avenue, connecting the two sides of CMU’s Shaftesbury campus and providing safe passage across the busy thoroughfare. The bridge will signal the presence of CMU as an institution that connects people to one another. 

News of the new capital project is generating excitement among students on campus.

“The Library will provide a wonderful learning space for residence and commuter students alike,” says Jenna Dyck, 4th-year Psychology student from Ottawa, Ontario.

“It’s an important investment in our future,” comments David Epp, History student from Rosthern, Saskatchewan.

Danielle Bailey, 3rd-year Theology and Social Sciences student from Winnipeg, sees the Library not only as a place for research and study but also as an important space to connect with others. “It will strengthen the CMU community,” says Bailey.

For Campaign Chair Elmer Hildebrand, the motivating factor behind his commitment to the Campaign is clear. “This project will impact the future of our church by equipping young people to live out their faith and make a difference in a challenging world,” says Hildebrand. “Support from volunteers and donors matters!”

A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, Canadian Mennonite University, offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as two graduate degree programs. CMU has over 1,600 students at its Shaftesbury Campus, at Menno Simons College in downtown Winnipeg, and enrolled through its Outtatown discipleship program. CMU is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

For Campaign information, contact: CMU Director of Development Abe Bergen | agbergen@cmu.ca

 

FEATURES OF THE LIBRARY AND LEARNING COMMONS AND PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE

The Library and Learning Commons will greatly enhance the CMU learning environment for students, faculty, and the general public.

  • Students will be better able to focus on their studies in a quiet and attractive setting furnished with study carrels, worktables, and lounge seating.
  • Small group rooms will invite students to work together in teams at important questions and issues.
  • New computer, wireless, and peripheral technologies will support study, research, and collaboration.
  • A seminar room will enable small classes to meet in proximity to necessary library resources.
  • Significantly increased space with natural light and controlled temperature and humidity will allow future expansion and growth of the collection.

The Library and Learning Commons will include a prominent and welcoming entrance and gathering area (Library Centre), inviting students and the general public to make use of its resources.

  • It will feature a Bookstore and Resource Centre with the most extensive selection of theological resources anywhere in the province.
  • An inviting Café will welcome students, faculty, staff, and members of the community to gather and discuss the issues of the day.

An attractive Pedestrian Bridge will link the two sides of CMU’s campus, currently partitioned by a busy thoroughfare, providing a safe, accessible route across Grant Avenue. It will also signal the presence of CMU in the community, serving as a symbol for an institution that connects people with ideas and each other over issues that matter.