90-year-old retiree Jack Anderson and his daughter Wynne Chisolm have made the single largest donation to any university in North America. They donated their $44 million dollar cattle ranch to The University of Calgary’s school of veterinary medicine. They want the land to be used for education on sustainable and ethical farming, animal care and other agricultural education pursuits. As a condition for the donation, they require employment for their five full-time ranch hands by the university and requested the ability to visit the ranch when they want.
“My dad will probably still want to do a drive-around weekly…” Wynne said in an online interview. “Particularly at calving time, and to see the animals.” The father-daughter pair has been managing the ranch since Jack’s retirement from the gas and oil industry in 2005. The ranch is an astonishing 19,000-acre piece of land, which will offer students of the university new educational experiences that would be hard to find anywhere else.
The president of The University of Calgary, Elizabeth Cannon, mentioned that this donation will be important for the institution. “It will really propel our facility of veterinary medicine to the global stage.” The ranch owners have already started a wonderful relationship with the university by giving students in-person experience with their cattle and making a $5 million donation to the institution in the past.
When thinking of succession, Mr. Anderson had a hard decision to make. His three grandchildren had chosen other types of careers and wouldn’t likely be interested in caring for the ranch, so the choice to donate the ranch to an organization was apparent. This donation for the university will make it not only a competitive educational destination for those interested in cattle ranching, but it will also allow for greater research and study of the beef cattle industry, leading to innovation and efficiency for everyone.
With such a generous gift, giving a Good Samaritan Award to Mr. Anderson and his daughter was an easy choice. Remember, these awards are simply given anonymously to people who are dedicated to making the world a better place. This father-daughter duo definitely fit the bill. Now veterinary students at The Unversity of Calgary will enter the workforce with better knowledge and experience than ever before.