Lakehead University receives more than $216k on Giving Tuesday for student financial aid

thank you poster

December 7, 2021 – Thunder Bay and Orillia, Ont.

Lakehead University officials were blown away by the more than $216,000 donated to student financial aid on Giving Tuesday, thanks to donations from alumni, friends of the university, faculty, staff, and other donors.

Lakehead’s goal was $52,500, which was the reason Dr. Moira McPherson, President and Vice-Chancellor, was impressed by the exceptional amount they raised.

“We were absolutely blown away by the generosity of our alumni, staff, faculty, and friends,” Dr. McPherson said.

She attributed this success to the University’s use of email and social media, as well as a university-wide approach to this special day of giving.

“Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would exceed our goal by 400 per cent.  The impact of this generosity on our students will be tremendous.”

Several major donors jumped at the chance to increase their existing awards, or establish new ones, due to a matching-gift incentive. In the weeks leading up to the event, alumni and friends were encouraged to participate on social media.

“Lakehead’s internal community responded very positively, as did the Alumni Board and the Board of Governors. In fact, the participation rate for both boards was at an all-time high in 2021,” Dr. McPherson added.

The majority of Lakehead’s donors were from Canada, primarily Ontario.  But Lakehead also received several international gifts, from as far away as Finland and China.  

Lakehead once again held a competition between alumni from different decades, with 80s graduates outpacing all other decades.

Due to the tremendous turnout from Lakehead donors, eight new awards were created at the University, and contributions were made to dozens of endowed funds.

“Thank you to all of our donors for supporting Lakehead students,” Dr. McPherson said.

This brings the total to more than $540,000 that Lakehead has received on Giving Tuesday since the University first started participating in 2016.

 To watch a thank you video, press play here.



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Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has 10 faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and in the top 100 of 1,115 universities from around the world in THE's 2021 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit