General News News Releases

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

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



General News News Releases

CMU Congratulates Hildebrand, Filmon, Boldt

January 14, 2013  – His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, on December 30, 2012 announced 91 new appointments to the Order of Canada. The new appointees included two Companions (C.C.), 33 Officers (O.C.) and 56 Members (C.M.).

Of particular pleasure to Canadian Mennonite University (CMU), the recent appointments to Members of the Order of Canada included Mr. Elmer Hildebrand, C.M., O.M., and Ms Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M., two Manitobans who are special friends to CMU and who serve as volunteer Cabinet Chair and volunteer Cabinet member, respectively, for Canadian Mennonite University’s CONNECT Campaign.

Also honoured, receiving the appointment of Officer of the Order of Canada, is highly decorated Paralympian Arnold Boldt, O.C., of Saskatchewan, who is a CMU alumnus. Boldt is a 1981 graduate of Canadian Mennonite Bible College, a founding college of CMU, and is a legendary athlete and role model in Canada’s athletic community.

“CMU cherishes its connections to friends and alumni,” says CMU President Cheryl Pauls. “We take particular pleasure in seeing fine Canadian citizens such as these receiving recognition for all that they do for their communities through the many civic causes to which they lend their leadership and efforts. We extend our congratulations to Elmer Hildebrand, Janice Filmon, and Arnold Boldt for the high distinction they have received through their Order of Canada appointments.”

The Order of Canada was established in 1967, Canada’s centennial year, by Queen Elizabeth II. Appointments are made upon the recommendation of the AdvisoryCouncil for the Order  of Canada. The motto for the Order of Canada is the Latin phrase, desiderantes meliorem patriam – “they desire a better country.” There are three levels of service within the Order of Canada – Companion, Officer, and Member. Services of investiture will be held in 2013.

A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU offers undergraduate degrees inarts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as two graduate degree programs. CMU has over 1,600 students, including Menno Simons College and Outtatown students, and is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)


Government of Canada Citations*



Elmer Hildebrand, C.M., O.M. – Winnipeg, MB

For his contributions to the development of community service radio in western Canada and to various charitable causes.


Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M. – Winnipeg, MB

For her tireless commitment to a variety of charitable causes, ranging from cancer research and treatment to youth and human rights.



Arnold Boldt, O.C. – Saskatoon, SK

For his achievements in sport and for his contributions as a role model for people with disabilities.