Thanks to the diligence of all members of the community, operational costs are managed carefully and we finished the 2015– 2016 fiscal year in balance—an extremely strong start to our three year budget recovery plan.
We have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Province of Nova Scotia, which guarantees our grant funding through to 2019. The same MOU allowed us a onetime tuition increase, which we have used judiciously both to increase that particular revenue stream and to address financial barriers to university education. Consulting with Saint Mary’s University Student Association (SMUSA), an important priority is to boost funding for student financial aid. Currently, the university commits $6 million annually to financial aid and scholarships.
This past year we took a new direction in fundraising and we have completed the search for a Vice President, Advancement, to support an ambitious fundraising agenda.
The university received major gifts from Scotiabank, the Joyce Foundation, David Wang, and alumni, including Mike and Catherine Durland. Combined with the support of our loyal annual donors, we have raised $4.5 million in the 2015–2016 academic year.