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Trent School of the Environment Receives Transformational $1.4 Million Gift

October 3, 2017

Monumental gift is the largest in Trent’s history in support of one of Trent’s prestigious schools of study

group of people celebrating

Today, during a first-year Foundations of Environmental Science & Studies lecture, the Trent University community celebrated a transformational $1.4 million gift to the Trent School of the Environment (TSE), marking the largest gift in the University’s history in support of one of Trent’s prestigious schools of study.

This generous gift from an anonymous alumnus will benefit every aspect of the TSE and will empower Trent students to put knowledge into action to address the world’s most pressing environmental issues.

“We are incredibly grateful for this gift,” said Julie Davis, vice-president, External Relations and Advancement at Trent. “It supports so many areas of the TSE, the most significant being the impact it will have on the students. I truly believe it will help spark the next generation of environmental leaders and it is investments like this that help Trent remain the university of choice for future environmental leaders.”

This extraordinary gift will support a variety of student-centered and experiential learning initiatives across the TSE, including:

  • Creation of an endowment to award three undergraduate student summer internships annually;
  • Building an Enriched Experiential Education fund to permit students to extend their learning in upper years by taking a capstone or residential field course;
  • The creation of three new student support funds named in honour of professor emeriti and Trent environmental trailblazers Dr.’s Robert Paehlke, Peter Adams and Tom Hutchison;
  • Enhancing existing funds including the Robert J.D. Page Scholarship, the Environmental & Resource Science/Studies Alumni Bursary, and the Indigenous Environmental Studies/Science Prizes; and
  • An expendable library fund which will help provide research materials focused on areas such as water sciences and environmental geoscience.

“This major investment provides students with opportunities to experience real-world environmental issues while elevating Trent University's commitment to both excellence in environmental education and to environmental research that is recognized around the world,” said Dr. Shaun Watmough, director of the Trent School of the Environment.

For over 50 years, Trent University has been a leader in environmental research and teaching, establishing itself as one of Canada’s top post-secondary environmental institutions. The TSE is home to over a dozen degree programs and more than 100 environment related courses, including Canada’s first Bachelor of Environmental Science/Studies degree and the country’s only Indigenous Environmental Science/Studies program. Trent was also the first university in Canada to achieve accreditation from ECO Canada for its environmental program. For more information on the TSE and Trent’s leadership in the environment, visit

This donation provides a tremendous opportunity and responsibility for Trent University to continue to thrive as a global leader in a field that holds much promise for the planet’s precious natural resources. It also allows the TSE to offer invaluable experiential learning opportunities and builds an even broader capacity for education and scholarship.

The $1.4 million gift is part of Trent’s $50 Million Campaign - Unleash the Potential, the University’s most ambitious philanthropic campaign to date.