January 31, 2008
by Canadian Architect
Carleton University announced that internationally renowned philanthropist, developer, architect and Carleton graduate, David J. Azrieli, is donating $5.5 million to the Carleton University School of Architecture. This gift brings Dr. Azrieli’s lifetime philanthropic investment in Carleton University to more than $8 million.
Dr. Azrieli graduated from the Carleton University School of Architecture in 1997 when he was 75 years old. He is now reinvesting in his alma mater because he wants to ensure that the School maintains its standing as “the best in Canada.” Carleton University bestowed the Doctor of Architecture, honoris causa, upon him in 2003 in recognition of his contributions to Carleton University, to country, and to community.
“I am extremely proud of my Carleton University degree,” said Dr. Azrieli. “I have a vision of contributing to the education of architects in Canada and around the world, and I am privileged to help Carleton University strengthen its leadership position in the field of architecture.”
“Dr. Azrieli’s gift is a transformative contribution for the new Azrieli School of Architecture,” said Dr. Samy Mahmoud, President and Vice-Chancellor pro tempore. “It acknowledges the quality of the education that our architecture faculty members already provide to our students. Dr. Azrieli’s generosity will also allow Carleton to increase the Azrieli School of Architecture’s enrolment by 100 students over the next five years from the School’s current level of 340 full-time equivalent students (an increase of close to 30%) and to expand the range of programs it offers. This gift is a strong vote of confidence in the future of Carleton University students as it will significantly enhance their opportunity to become leaders in their profession. We are deeply grateful to David Azrieli and to the Azrieli Foundation for their generosity and long-standing commitment towards Carleton University.”
The gift will be used to establish a permanent endowment for the newly named Azrieli School of Architecture. The endowment will provide the School with annual funding to introduce leading-edge academic programs such as a new PhD (only the third such program in Canada) and a new undergraduate program in environmentally sustainable architecture. The endowment will also allow for an expansion of the School’s Directed Studies Abroad program, which supports overseas work experience and exchanges. Proceeds from the endowment will also fund new prestige scholarships to be awarded to promising Azrieli Scholars, as well as continuing education opportunities and technological upgrades within the School.
When combined with previous gifts to the School of Architecture from Dr. Azrieli, plus a one-time matching contribution by Carleton University of $1 million, this gift will raise the Azrieli School of Architecture’s endowment fund to close to $8 million within three years.
Moreover, Dr. Azrieli will serve as the honorary Campaign Chair of a fundraising program aimed at increasing the endowment to $10 million over the course of the next few years.
“I invite Canada’s architectural community especially the many proud and renowned graduates of the School of Architectur to join with me in supporting this initiative to provide outstanding resources for generations of architecture students,” Dr. Azrieli said. “I am living my dream. It is time to return the favour so that aspiring architects can fulfill their dreams too.”
The gift is being made by the Azrieli Foundation, a Canadian non-profit organization that was established to realize Dr. Azrieli’s philanthropic vision.
“As a family foundation, we support initiatives that align with my father’s interests and passions,” explained Naomi Azrieli, Executive Director. “Architecture and education are fundamental to him, and this gift represents an extraordinary opportunity to advance our shared goals.” Ms. Azrieli noted that the gift to Carleton University represents the Foundation’s most important educational philanthropic investment in North America.
“Good architects are deeply concerned about society and culture and their relationship with a properly built environment,” said Marco Frascari, Director, School of Architecture. “The students at Carleton are taught how to create more valuable, healthy, secure, sustainable and meaningful buildings and cityscapes. This endowment will give our students better access to cutting-edge architectural knowledge and techniques that will help them shape the expression of culture and preserve values and patterns for future generations.”