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Trent University Announces David Schindler Endowed Professorship in Aquatic Science


$1 Million Gift from Anonymous Donor Honours World-Renowned Water Scientist and Reinforces Trent’s Reputation as a Leader in the Environment

Wednesday, May 21, 2008, Peterborough

Trent University’s reputation as an international leader in the environment received a significant boost today with the announcement of the new David Schindler Endowed Professorship in Aquatic Science, the first-ever endowed professorship at the University, valued at $1 million.

“The creation of the first endowed professorship at our University represents an important and exciting investment in intellectual capital here at Trent,” said Trent University President Bonnie Patterson. “This new Professorship in Aquatic Science will allow Trent to grow our next generation of academic leaders, while at the same time enabling the University to realize our Vision leading up to our 50th anniversary in 2014.”

The generous $1 million gift was given to the University by an anonymous donor who wished to honour the work of Dr. David Schindler, a former Trent professor and one of the world’s leading limnologists (a specialist in the study of freshwater lakes and rivers). The endowment establishes a prestigious position at the University for a leading academic in this increasingly important field of aquatic science, a multidisciplinary study of aquatic systems, encompassing both freshwater and marine systems.

“I am delighted to have a professorship in my name at Trent University. Freshwater will be the foremost environmental problem in the century ahead, and probably well beyond. Decisions about how we manage our water must be based on sound science. The anonymous donor who is endowing this position is extraordinarily generous, kind, and very far-sighted,” said Dr. Schindler, adding, “Trent has become one of the world’s foremost limnological centers. I am very proud to have my name associated with the developments here.”

Dr. Schindler was an assistant professor in the Biology Department at Trent University from 1966 to 1968. Today, he holds the prestigious Killam Memorial Chair in Ecology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and is recognized internationally for his work as a limnologist. Dr. Schindler is best known for his work on the Experimental Lakes Project of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which he founded and directed from 1968 to 1989. This program is now recognized as one of the most successful long-term studies of freshwater systems and has been widely used in formulating ecological management policy in Canada, the USA and in Europe.

Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Schindler has received numerous national and international research awards. He is the only Canadian to have won the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize, an international award presented by the Stockholm Water Foundation, and the Volvo International Environment Prize, which is valued at over $200,000 (USD). Dr. Schindler’s other awards include: an Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Institute of Fisheries Biologists; the first Miroslaw Romanowski Medal of the Royal Society of Canada; the NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, Canada’s highest scientific honour; and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. In 2004 he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2006, he received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Ruth Patrick Award. Dr. Schindler also holds ten honorary doctorates from universities within Canada and the United States, including Trent University.

The new David Schindler Professorship in Aquatic Science at Trent University will support the creation of a prestigious faculty position for a national or international leader in the field of aquatic science. The holder of the professorship may be a new academic leader recruited to Trent or an existing full-time tenured member of the University and will explore aquatic science from multiple perspectives through his or her leadership in teaching, research and community engagement. A search process will begin for the candidate in the 2008/2009 academic year, and it is anticipated that the Professorship in Aquatic Science will join Trent’s faculty 2009/2010.

An Endowed Professorship is a philanthropic initiative established to enhance the academic mission of the University by facilitating the strategic recruitment and retention of excellent faculty. As an endowed fund, the David Schindler Professorship in Aquatic Science will exist at Trent in perpetuity, ensuring that the University is able to attract and retain the finest faculty for years to come.

The establishment of the $1 million David Schindler Professorship in Aquatic Science marks the first transformational gift to Trent University’s soon-to-be-launched Centre of Knowledge in the Environment, a virtual centre designed to showcase Trent’s international reputation as a leader in environmental research and scholarship. The Centre of Knowledge in the Environment will be one of four or five Centres launched as part of a philanthropic initiative leading up to Trent’s 50th anniversary in 2014.

“These Centres are not about bricks and mortar. They are virtual clusters that showcase to the world what Trent does best and are used to encourage high-level philanthropic investments,” explains Dianne Lister, vice president of external relations and advancement at Trent. “Within the Centre of Knowledge in the Environment, the new David Schindler Professorship in Aquatic Science holds a special place of significance. The generosity of this donor will help put Trent University on the international map when it comes to our groundbreaking and innovative work in the environment.”

One of Canada's top universities, Trent University is renowned for striking a unique balance between outstanding teaching and leading-edge research. The University is consistently recognized nationally for faculty who maintain a high level of innovative research activity and a deep commitment to the individual student. Distinguished by excellence in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences and increasingly popular professional and graduate programs, Trent is dedicated to providing its students with an exceptional world view, producing graduates who are ready to succeed and make a difference in the world. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River. Together with its satellite campus in Oshawa, Trent draws excellent students from throughout the country and around the world.

For more information about the David Schindler Professorship in Aquatic Science at Trent University visit www.trentu.ca/aquaticscience.


For more information, please contact:
Marilyn Burns, director of marketing and communications, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6184