Progress Update

Head shot Alan Shepard.

Much to Celebrate

April 27, 2023

In June 2021, we launched Towards Western at 150 in pursuit of some ambitious goals.

Since then, we’ve responded to the changing needs of our student body, and achieved greater impact through our teaching, research, scholarship, and creative activity. We’ve invested significantly in our people, community, and culture to create a more diverse and inclusive campus. And we’ve focused with intention on Western’s place in the world, aiming to build a more sustainable future.

While there’s still lots of work to do, we have much to celebrate. Below is a summary of our success so far as of April 2023—achievements we can all take pride in.

I want to congratulate and thank all members of our community for their vital contributions.

As we look towards Western’s 150th anniversary in 2028, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about our university’s future.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Shepard
President & Vice-Chancellor

Greater Impact

Responding to the changing needs of our increasingly diverse student body: campus facilities, ancillary services, academic counselling, and other support programs have evolved, along with faculty and staff complements, to ensure the high quality of our student experience. Examples range from increased support for off-campus housing and increased residence capacity, to more summer research internships and an innovative new program to help women pursue careers in finance.

Launched new academic programs:

Increased annual fundraising results by more than 30 per cent since the end of the last campaign (2018/19), peaking at $83.8 million in 2021/22. As Western’s global network now exceeds 330,000 graduates in over 160 countries, we are gearing up to launch the public phase of the most ambitious alumni engagement and fundraising campaign in the university’s history.

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People, Community, and Culture

Invested in EDI initiatives:

Partnered with over 200 not-for-profit organizations to provide community-engaged learning opportunities and paid internships for thousands of students: including Black Leadership University Experience; Summer After 1L Employment Program for JD candidates; and Social Science Career Apprenticeship, offered in partnership with the London Economic Development Corporation.

Expanded or introduced wide range of faculty and staff professional development programs and resources:

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Western's Place in the World

Celebrated and promoted our researchers’ collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic . Also established the Western Academy for Advanced Research, bringing together interdisciplinary teams of global experts to tackle challenges related to neural networks and climate resilient infrastructure. And secured new funding for 10 endowed research chairs in areas ranging from immunology & transplantation and medical biophysics, to economic geology and leadership studies.

Ranked among the world’s leaders in sustainability teaching, research, and operations: As of March 2023, Times Higher Education ranks Western 1 st in Canada and 3 rd globally for work toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Quacquarelli Symonds ranks Western 3 rd in Canada and 17 th globally for sustainability. And Financial Times ranks Ivey 3 rd globally for SDG-significant research.

Initiated or completed major infrastructure projects: