In January of 2020, the Savvas Chamberlain Family Foundation pledged a transformational gift of $4 million to Wilfrid Laurier University’s Making Space for Music campaign, which will expand its Faculty of Music building on the Waterloo campus. The university will recognize the foundation’s visionary gift by naming Laurier’s renovated Faculty of Music building the “Savvas Chamberlain Music Building.”
Savvas and Christine Chamberlain have a long history of friendship with Laurier, which includes philanthropy, leadership and engagement. Savvas is a member of Laurier’s Board of Governors and Christine is an alumna of the university’s Honours Bachelor of Music program. In 2011, Savvas founded the Savvas Chamberlain Family Foundation in order to support community causes and projects in and around Waterloo Region and across Ontario, with a focus on health and welfare, education, the arts, culture, music and the environment.
“Christine Chamberlain, Maria Harper, the board of directors of our foundation and I all believe that our donation not only helps the advancement of the Laurier Faculty of Music, but it also helps our local and Ontario communities,” says Savvas Chamberlain. “I believe that music should be accessible to everybody, it brings people together and it leads them to a better understanding of each other. The Laurier Faculty of Music has excellent undergraduate and graduate music programs, music clinics and workshops at Ontario high schools and a significant community outreach mandate.”
“Laurier has incredibly talented and dedicated students who truly do make a difference in our communities,” says Anna Ferenc, acting dean of the Faculty of Music. “We are deeply grateful to the Savvas Chamberlain Family Foundation for its remarkable generosity.”
Outgoing Dean of Music Glen Carruthers and President Deborah MacLatchy also expressed gratitude for the visionary gift and the difference it will make at Laurier.
– Glen Carruthers
“A gift of this magnitude reflects tremendous confidence in the Faculty of Music – in its faculty, staff and students, as well as its sector-leading curriculum,” says Carruthers. “It is a privilege to work with the Chamberlains, who also deeply value the way that the arts can change the world. We are so grateful to Savvas and Christine for their partnership in creating this wonderful new space for music.”
“The Laurier community is incredibly thankful for the generosity of the Savvas Chamberlain Family Foundation,” says MacLatchy. “This leadership gift will have a powerful impact on our ability to continue to deliver a unique student experience and world-class instruction within our celebrated Faculty of Music.”
The Making Space for Music campaign aims to raise $15 million to renovate and expand Laurier’s Waterloo campus Faculty of Music building, transforming it into an improved space for teaching, practising, rehearsing and performing. An exceptional new campus entranceway, lobby and practice rooms will allow increased opportunities for music students to develop their craft and for the public to enjoy and participate in Faculty of Music programming.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent safety measures put a pause on the Making Space for Music campaign, while donors, including the Chamberlains, shifted to supporting students through the Laurier COVID-19 Emergency Fund. While the health of Laurier’s students and community remains a key focus for the university, the Making Space for Music campaign is now resuming, with the goal of inspiring optimism for the future and contributing to a post-pandemic economy.
Funds earmarked for the project to date from private and public sources exceed $11 million. Through the generosity of the Savvas Chamberlain Family Foundation, the Faculty of Music is well positioned to reach its goal of $15 million.
For more information about Laurier’s Making Space for Music campaign or to lend your support, visit give.wlu.ca/music.