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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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CMU Celebrates the Grand Opening of Marpeck Commons

‘With honour and joy, we say thanks,” says President Cheryl Pauls

Speeches, songs, prayer, conversation, laughter, and excitement marked the opening of Marpeck Commons, Canadian Mennonite University’s new library, learning commons, and bridge.

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CMU’s Terry Schellenberg, Vice President External, welcomes over 300 people to the grand open ceremony for the university’s new library and learning commons

More than 300 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends filled the building for its Grand Opening and Dedication ceremony, held this past Saturday, November 29.

“Today, we celebrate the possibilities for the university and far beyond,” said Vice President External Terry Schellenberg.

Plans for a new library, with a bridge that would connect the north and south sides of CMU’s campus, began to take shape more than 15 years ago. Construction began in July 2013.

President Cheryl Pauls reflected that a common question she faced during the building process was: Do universities still need libraries?

If they are merely places to store books, the answer is no. If they are spaces that draw students into conversations, then the answer is yes.

“The greater the stores of knowledge available at the push of a thumb, the greater the yearning for experientially-based connections amongst people enabling sound research, shared understanding, deep friendship, and trustworthy community,” Pauls said.

President Emeritus Gerald Gerbrandt, who led CMU from its inception in 2000 until 2012, recalled the meeting in 1998 where the idea of a new library and bridge first took shape.

“(The bridge) represents a larger vision, symbolizing CMU’s commitment to building bridges that overcome all kinds of divisions—not only between the two founding denominations (Mennonite Brethren and Mennonite Church), but among us, as well as between us and others,” Gerbrandt said.

Jerald Peters, Principal Architect at ft3, said that designing Marpeck Commons presented a challenge that he and his colleagues were eager to take on.

“It’s a challenge to design a building that has so many opportunities,” Peters said, adding that those opportunities included unifying a divided campus and welcoming friends and neighbours to CMU, all while being sustainable and creating a building that is “transparent and yet (has) a presence.”

Ribbon-cutting at Marpeck Commons with (l-r) Elton DeSilva, MB Church Manitoba Executive Director;  Marlene Janzen, Marlene Janzen CMU Board of Governors Chair; Jerold Peters, ft3 Principle Architect; Josh Hollins, CMU Student Council President; Elmer Hildebrand, CMU Capital Campaign Chair; Cheryl Pauls, CMU President; Ted Paetkau Concord Projects CEO, Willard Metzger, MC Canada Executive Director
Ribbon-cutting at Marpeck Commons with (l-r) Elton DeSilva, MB Church Manitoba Executive Director; Marlene Janzen, Marlene Janzen CMU Board of Governors Chair; Jerold Peters, ft3 Principle Architect; Josh Hollins, CMU Student Council President; Elmer Hildebrand, CMU Capital Campaign Chair; Cheryl Pauls, CMU President; Ted Paetkau Concord Projects CEO, Willard Metzger, MC Canada Executive Director

More than 700 donors contributed to the CONNECT fundraising campaign, which was established to make the new building a reality. Under the guidance of Campaign Chair Elmer Hildebrand, CEO of Golden West Broadcasting, the campaign has raised more than $13 million toward its $14.4 million goal.

Hildebrand said it has been a pleasure to work with a dedicated fundraising cabinet, and that the team is committed to working together until the campaign reaches its goal.

“We value the support from such a diverse community,” Hildebrand said. “Each gift is important and speaks to the past, present, and hope of the future.”

He added that the building is named after Pilgram Marpeck, a civil magistrate from the early 1500s whose Anabaptist convictions guided his life and work.

“In the turmoil of 16th century, he called for love and tolerance, and perhaps he has something to say to us today,” Hildebrand said.

Speaking on behalf of the student body, CMU Student Council President Josh Hollins noted that CMU has had an enormous impact on the way he interacts with people, thinks about the world, and sees himself as a Christian.

“What takes classroom learning to a whole new level is the conversations that I have with my peers, staff, and faculty over a cup of coffee, and the sharing of personal experiences,” Hollins said, adding that Marpeck Commons creates potential for more of such interactions.

“More broadly, I believe that it will help to foster the enriching community that we experience through coming to such a unique post-secondary institution here in Winnipeg,” Hollins said.

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

The Commons will be fully functioning by January 6, the first day of CMU’s winter term.

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Marpeck Commons—CMU’s new library, learning commons, and bridge—glows in the winter night.

The Marpeck Commons grounds include 100 new trees, a naturalized pond, a low fence and gentle pathways that will welcome community members in.

Pauls invited the community to engage in programs, get to know students and faculty, come for coffee and gelato, come to events, draw on resources, and spend time in Marpeck Commons.

“I invite people… to continue to pray and invest, and cherish the stories told through a university rooted in the Anabaptist faith tradition, moved and transformed by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, ever inspiring and equipping women and men for lives of reconciliation and service in church and society,” Pauls said.

“With honour and joy, we say thanks.”

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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, and graduate degrees in Theology and Ministry. CMU has over 1,600 students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury Campus and in its Menno Simons College and Outtatown programs.

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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CMU invites community to celebrate the grand opening of Marpeck Commons

We are honoured to open this spectacular space,’ says university president

Canadian Mennonite University will celebrate the grand opening of Marpeck Commons, CMU’s new library, learning commons, and bridge, on Saturday, November 29.

The public is invited to join CMU staff, faculty, and students at 2299 Grant Ave. for the grand opening celebration from 1:30 PM to 2:15 PM. An open house is scheduled for 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

MCbanner“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.

“CMU’s capacity to connect students with one another and with faculty, librarians, staff, and surrounding communities enables the university to live out its mission of inspiring and equipping women and men for lives of service, leadership, and reconciliation in church and society,” Pauls says.

Vic Froese, Library Director, is excited to see the library open. “It will invite students and others to come to a place where we have a fine collection of good resources and resourcing expertise,” Froese says.

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.

Marpeck Commons is named after Pilgram Marpeck, a 16th century Anabaptist leader and civil engineer whose writings emphasize Christian love, the pursuit of peace, and active pursuit of justice before God and among all people.

Designed by ft3 and constructed under the direction of Concord Projects, Marpeck Commons includes a range of environmentally conscious and energy-saving initiatives that have been integrated into both the interior and exterior construction.

See the construction of Marpeck Commons from beginning to end (photo album)
See the construction of Marpeck Commons from beginning to end (photo album)

The Commons lies on a designated Manitoba Heritage site, between two Winnipeg treasures: Assiniboine Park and a large urban forest. The site design of the CMU campus complements these green city spaces.

Construction on the project began in July 2013, funded by the CONNECT fundraising campaign under the leadership of Campaign Chair Elmer Hildebrand, CEO of Golden West Broadcasting. To date, $13-million has been committed toward the campaign’s $14.4-million goal.

Immediately following the grand opening program on November 29, the public is invited to Christmas at CMU at 2:30 PM and 7:00 PM. Create your own concert with family, friends, and neighbours while enjoying music, festive décor, cookies, and hot apple cider. Admission is free.

In addition to the grand opening, media are invited to an open house on Friday, November 28 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Members of the media will have the opportunity to tour Marpeck Commons with Pauls and other CMU personnel on hand to answer questions.

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, and graduate degrees in Theology and Ministry. CMU has over 1,600 students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury Campus and in its Menno Simons College and Outtatown programs.

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

Categories
General News News Releases

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.