Anonymous donation helps fund Outdoor Campus Project

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Even in the current financial climate St. Joseph donors have still been able to find the funds to donate to Western’s outdoor campus project.

Over the summer, a company that wishes to remain anonymous donated enough money to construct new signs in front of the each building around campus and other contributions to Western’s project.

Robert Vartabedian, President of the University, was told not to make a public announcement concerning the donators.

The new signs out side of Blum and the Fulkerson Center make the campus easy to navigate for new students. Photo | Dave Hon

“They really have a vested interest in the look our campus and were willing to contribute a substantial amount of money for the signage,” Vartabedian said.

On top of the signs, the anonymous company contributed enough money for various fountains around campus and for an addition of evergreen trees to be planted.

Dan Nicoson, Vice President of University Advancement has spear-headed the outdoor campus project, particularly through the planting of evergreen trees.

“We selected evergreens particularly because in the winter we wanted to maintain some color and sense of warmth on the campus rather than everything being bare,” Nicoson said, “So we have quite a few trees on campus but in the winter is gets really bland looking. So we were trying to do something that would both be environmentally friendly but at the same time give us a sense of color and warmth and color during the winter.”

Nicoson said that each evergreen tree costs 300 dollars to donate, so any company can help Western’s outdoor campus project for a minimal cost.

Nicoson said that this project creates a better campus by creating a positive image for the institution.

All of the small projects in the outdoor campus project must be donated to the university, according to Nicoson.

“The University’s budget situation right now is such that there would not be funds available that would not impact the University,” Nicoson said, “So unless we have independent funding sources that want to fund these things we can’t move forward with them.”

Nicoson said that any project that is funded privately will require a lot of work, especially in this economy.

“We’ve been pretty fortunate and had great supporters anyway,” Nicoson said.

Both Nicoson and Vartabedian see the project some day culminating into the construction of an outdoor amphitheater. Nicoson believes that in this current economic climate it will be particularly challenging.

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