Dec. 14, 2020
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University has announced a donation of $250,000 by Chancellor Eileen Mercier (BA ‘68, LLD ‘13) to support the Faculty of Music’s Making Space for Music Campaign. She has designated her gift to honour Glen Carruthers, the recently retired Faculty of Music dean, as part of the campaign to build and name the Carruthers Practice Studios, a series of high-quality, light-filled practice and rehearsal rooms with superb acoustics and floor-to-ceiling windows on the second floor of the planned Savvas Chamberlain Music Building.
“I am delighted by the generosity of Robert and Judith Astley’s recent gift to the Making Space for Music campaign, and I’m pleased to join them in honouring Dean Glen Carruthers, a truly remarkable man,” said Mercier. “I invite Laurier supporters and music-lovers to join me and take up their offer to match your gift to Making Space for Music.”
“This gift is yet another example of the many ways our exceptional chancellor continues to support Laurier,” said Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s president and vice-chancellor. “We are incredibly grateful for Chancellor Mercier’s engagement and generosity. As an alumna, Eileen Mercier truly embodies the spirit of ‘inspiring lives of leadership and purpose.’”
The WLU Alumni Choir, of which Mercier is a member, will also support the Making Space for Music campaign through a group gift.
“Eileen has long been a dedicated supporter of the Faculty of Music, as well as the wider Laurier community,” said Anna Ferenc, acting dean of the Faculty of Music. “A gift like this shows not only leadership, but a true passion for music, community and student success. On behalf of the Faculty of Music, I offer my most sincere gratitude for her generosity.”
Mercier’s gift follows shortly after a major matching gift from Robert (LLD '96) and Judith (BA '87) Astley to name the Carruthers Practice Studios. The Astleys are matching every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $375,000 (contingent on the building construction commencing by July 31, 2022). All funds donated to the Carruthers Practice Studios will go toward Laurier's ongoing Making Space for Music capital campaign to support the building in which the Carruthers Practice Studios will be situated.
“Dr. Carruthers played such a prominent role in the lives of all Laurier music students. Through all of his hard work as our dean and all of his interactions with students, he has truly made the Faculty of Music feel like a family,” said Erin White, internal president of the Faculty of Music Students' Association.
Mercier’s gift continues the momentum started in January 2020, when Savvas and Christine Chamberlain and the Savvas Chamberlain Family Foundation pledged a transformational gift of $4 million to Laurier’s Making Space for Music campaign. The university will recognize the foundation’s visionary gift by naming Laurier’s renovated Faculty of Music building the Savvas Chamberlain Music Building and the updated lobby the Savvas Chamberlain Family Foundation Lobby.
“We greatly appreciate Chancellor Mercier’s generosity and, like Dr. Carruthers, her ongoing dedication to Laurier student success. We know that her contribution will be of great help toward providing us with a new space that we can call home,” said Wendy Jung, external president of the Faculty of Music Students’ Association.
Mercier was a member of Laurier’s Board of Governors and served as chair from 1988 to 1990. In 1991, she received the Wilfrid Laurier University Outstanding Business Leader Award. During the university’s centennial in 2011, she was named one of Laurier’s 100 Alumni of Achievement. She served on the university’s President’s Council of Advisors and Campaign Cabinet. In 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Laurier.
Mercier has served as Laurier’s chancellor since October 2016. In 2020, she was reappointed for a second four-year term.
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