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Home on the range

It’s what university fundraisers dream of: the Big Gift.


And, as alumni gifts go, this one is really big – 5,000 hectares, to be precise.

The University of Alberta announced in December that alumni Edwin and Ruth Mattheis were donating their 5,000-hectare ranch to their alma mater. The ranch, located about 150 km southeast of Calgary, will be named the University of Alberta Rangelands Research Institute and “will provide the university with outstanding research and teaching opportunities,” says a U of A communiqué. In recognition of the gift, the university will establish the Mattheis Chair in Rangeland Ecology and Management.

Just days later, the university announced another major gift of land: the home and surrounding property of Sandy and Cécile Mactaggart, longtime generous supporters of the university. The university has not yet decided what to do with this latest gift, reportedly valued at more than $20 million.

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