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Trent University Receives National Award for Best Donor Recognition Program


CCAE lauds Trent event to honour donors behind Kenneth Mark Drain Endowed Chair in Ethics $2 Million Gift

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, Peterborough

Trent University has been awarded the top prize from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) in the 2008 Prix D’Excellence Awards – a Gold Award for the category Best Donor Recognition Program in the country for its campaign, symposium and announcement honouring the Patterson/Drain Family in connection with the Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics.

The CCAE Prix D’Excellence awards, which are announced in April and presented at a conference in June 2008, recognize outstanding achievements in alumni affairs, public affairs, development, student recruitment and overall institutional Advancement in universities across Canada. According to the judges, the Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics symposium and announcement, held October 3, 2007, were recognized for:

  • Clearly stated goals and solid planning
  • Successful ad campaign that consistently set the tone for all related communications materials
  • Effective explanation and promotion of the concept of an endowed chair
  • Establishment of a pivotal media partnership

Based on these criteria, full points were awarded to Trent University for meeting its stated objectives.

The Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics was the first Endowed Chair in the University’s history and the largest gift given to Trent by living donors, valued at $2 million. Such a momentous and generous gift to Trent University and the resulting establishment of an Endowed Chair in Ethics presented the opportunity to celebrate an historic day in the 44-year life of the University last October. The gift was given to the University by members of the Patterson and Drain families as a tribute to the life of Kenneth Mark Drain – thirteen members of the family attended Trent University.

To commemorate the event, the University planned a day-long symposium, arranged by vice-president (Academic) Susan Clark, called Living Ethics: Community Dialogues where various experts led group discussions on a variety of ethical issues. Following the symposium, an announcement, organized by Trent stewardship manager Jennifer MacIsaac, was attended by a large number of the Patterson and Drain families.

As part of the lead-up to the symposium and announcement, Trent launched a teaser ad campaign in partnership with the Peterborough Examiner. The Examiner’s publisher Darren Murphy donated the space for five full-colour ads that peaked interest in the community while explaining the concept of an Endowed Chair in the weeks leading up to the event. The campaign, directed by Marilyn Burns, director of Marketing & Communications, was created by Scott Thornley and Associates of Toronto; collateral materials were designed by Beeline Design & Communications and printed by Lazer Graphics.

In responding to the announcement of the CCAE Gold Award for the effort, Dianne Lister recognized the vision of the donors. “When you have a family like the Pattersons and the Drains, who come to the institution with a well-articulated vision for the future, it is a pleasure to help them to achieve their goals and to honour them,” said Ms. Lister. “The Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics set a new standard and continued a culture of philanthropy that sparked the creation of Trent itself. I’m thrilled to see this effort recognized by the CCAE.”


For more information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence, communications officer (705) 748-1011 ext. 6185