Nov. 15, 2021

Philanthropist supports research and students focused on prevention of family violence and abuse

For almost 30 years, Margaret Newall been supporting UCalgary and the Faculty of Nursing with bursaries and scholarships for new and continuing students
Margaret Newall

In 2012, the Canadian government officially recognized Nov. 15 as the country’s annual National Philanthropy Day to celebrate and pay tribute to the many contributions that philanthropy – and those active in the philanthropic community – have made to people and to communities. No one is more fitting of that recognition than Margaret Newall who, for almost 30 years, has been supporting the University of Calgary and the Faculty of Nursing with bursaries and scholarships for new and continuing students. 

With her husband, prominent Canadian businessman Ted Newall, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 76, Margaret has championed numerous causes and established bursary programs for students who, as the Newalls once had to, must leave home to get a university education. 

Margaret has a special interest in the prevention of family violence and abuse. A key experience as an elementary school teacher sensitized her to the devastating effects of domestic violence on young children and the importance of a safe home environment. She was also deeply affected by the Montreal massacre in December 1989 where 14 women – and only women - were murdered.

She co-founded Prairieaction Foundation, dedicated to research and education around this topic. Through the foundation, she has raised millions in support of the Research and Education for Solutions to Violence and Abuse (RESOLVE), a tri-prairie research network that co-ordinates and supports research aimed at ending violence, especially violence involving girls and women. Margaret has received the Order of Canada and honourary degrees from the universities of Manitoba, Regina and Calgary in recognition of her support of work in the field of interpersonal violence.

In addition to her other contributions, Margaret established the Margaret Newall Graduate Scholarship in Nursing, offered annually to students registered full-time in a UCalgary Nursing graduate program with a research focus/interest in family violence, abuse or toxic stress. Her most recent gift supports parent-child mental health and UCalgary Nursing professor Dr. Nicole Letourneau’s research by establishing the Ted Newall Fund in Parent-Child Mental Health Research.

“After the completion of my Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair term, without Margaret’s support, I would have had to largely dismantle my research program,” says Letourneau (RN, PhD). “That pained me greatly and was a huge stress. I am so grateful that Margaret came to the rescue! I cannot thank her enough for the confidence she has in me and my team.

"We remain able to continue to do important research on family violence, early adversity and children’s health and development. Thanks to her generosity, she has made, and will continue to make, an incredible impact on vulnerable children’s health.”

As Margaret said to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, she wants her grandchildren to “live in a society where both men and women are treated with respect and where they can all reach their full potential. I want them all to be able to live free from violence.” 

With these goals firmly in place, we celebrate Margaret Newall for her philanthropy and generosity to UCalgary Nursing and other Canadian organizations on this 2021 National Philanthropy Day.