Skip to main content
// //

David Werklund, President and C.E.O. of CCS is the Company's largest shareholder.

Calgary oil field entrepreneur and businessman David P. Werklund has donated $25-million to the University of Calgary's faculty of education – the largest-ever gift to a Canadian teachers college.

Mr. Werklund describes himself as "a non-academic" – he did not finish high school. But his own path to business success only reinforced his conviction about the value of education and exposure to great teachers.

His gift will support initiatives ranging from undergraduate leadership awards, graduate fellowships and teaching innovation projects to upgrades to the university's education complex. In a province where oil and related industries offer the lure of well-paid jobs at a young age, Mr. Werklund has made a point of driving home the benefits of education.

Story continues below advertisement

"This is a way for me to support what the university is already doing," Mr. Werklund said. "I believe that our younger generation would benefit from going out and working in the front lines, as I like to call it. But that's only a part of their life's journey. … When I hear an employee of ours working on a rig and talking about taking his money and going to university, I am so encouraged."

Of the total gift, $15-million will be put in an endowment to support scholarships, fellowships, three research professorships and a fund to help students attend conferences. But it will also provide up to $50,000 annually for a teaching innovation fund starting next year.

"Part of it is to ensure that we're on the leading edge of evidence-based practices for teaching and learning," said Elizabeth Cannon, UCalgary's president. "It's very important that when you look at some of these emerging trends, that you're not just adopting what's there, but you're also contributing to the knowledge base."

Dr. Cannon also called the donation "a huge vote of confidence" in the university.

Mr. Werklund's gift is the latest of several large donations the university has announced recently, including $142.5-million in provincial government funds and another $7-million from Canadian Natural Resources Limited to expand and renovate the university's Schulich School of Engineering. It is not the first time Mr. Werklund has given to UCalgary – his past philanthropy had already helped establish the university's Werklund Foundation Centre for Youth Leadership in Education.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies