U of C alumnus gives to undergrads

The University of Calgary is $1.7 million richer thanks to a recent donation from U of C alumnus Graeme Bell. The donation includes money for the faculties of science and fine arts, as well as new student awards and new student space.

“The idea was to benefit students as much as possible,” said Bell, who is currently the Louis Block Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago.

“I was a [U of C student] , I think it’s just payback,” he said.

The donation will fund a number of initiatives in the faculty of fine arts in the name of Bell’s grandmother Elsie Mary Bell, including a $1 million endowment to fund visiting artists and teachers, $200,000 to establish a $10,000 yearly scholarship in the faculty and $26,000 for the department of music.

Bell stressed the endowment for visiting artists was an idea he got from his cousin, U of C music professor Allan Bell.

“If you’re in the sciences there are always folks coming in giving seminars,” he said. “There’s not the same tradition in fine arts.”

Bell’s donation also includes $300,000 to fund two sets of undergraduate and graduate scholarships in biology, $100,000 to create a new student study area and lounge in the MacKimmie Library and $100,000 to fund student travel outside of Calgary for students to present their research.

“They wanted me to focus on grad students, but I was pretty adamant it include undergrads,” said Bell.

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