Animal Advocate Leaves $7.5 Million to U of G

April 20, 2009 - News Release

A tireless advocate for animals, a supporter of the arts and a successful business owner, the late Mona Campbell was known for her passion, dedication and philanthropy. She created a legacy of giving that will live on through a $7.5-million gift to benefit the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College. It is the University's largest-ever single donation.

"We are so grateful for this incredible gift, not only for the financial support and tremendous opportunities it affords but also for the spirit in which it was made," said president Alastair Summerlee. "It reflects Mona's passion for and dedication to animals."

OVC dean Elizabeth Stone, who developed a close relationship with Mrs. Campbell after joining U of G in 2005, added: "Mona entrusted us to be her stewards, which tells us that she valued what we do as important. This means a lot coming from her."

Mrs. Campbell was chairwoman and CEO of Dover Industries, a company she inherited from her father at age 33. At the time of her death in 2008, the company was Canada's largest flour-milling company, with revenues of $228 million and some 500 employees. She was also the first woman elected to the board of the Toronto-Dominion Bank.

During her lifetime, Mrs. Campbell was often recognized as an outstanding business leader, but her tenacity in enterprise was matched by her generosity. She was a patron of numerous cultural, educational and business organizations, including the Royal Ontario Museum and the National Ballet School Foundation.

Her relationship with U of G dates back nearly two decades. Over the years, she donated more than $1 million to various programs and efforts, especially those related to animal welfare and equine issues.

She was particularly interested in the work of animal and poultry science professor Ian Duncan, who was one of the first to bring a scientific approach to solving animal welfare problems. "Early on, she recognized Ian's pioneering work, and they remained lifelong friends," said Stone.

In 1991, Mrs. Campbell started an endowment for a chair in animal welfare, which was named the Col. K.L. Campbell Chair in Animal Welfare after her late husband. Later, the University's Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare was renamed the Col. K.L. Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare.

Mrs. Campbell's Mohill Farms was known for its numerous award-winning show horses and cattle, as well as for her beloved dogs that she had rescued. In 1994, she donated money for U of G to foster partnerships with the equine industry and to support travel grants in equine studies. She was also a strong proponent of OVC's Pet Trust Fund, which raises money to support learning, health care and research to benefit companion animals.

U of G awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Laws in 1994, and she was named to the Order of Canada in 1996.

Her $7.5-million gift to OVC is directed toward causes in which she strongly believed. Half of the funds will be used to fully endow a chair in companion animal welfare and to provide further support for animal welfare research and initiatives in the name of Col. K.L. Campbell. The other half, which is designated for Pet Trust, will support Canada's first comprehensive animal cancer centre, a priority initiative of Pet Trust.

"Her legacy will be transformative for OVC," said Stone.

For media questions, contact University of Guelph Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338,; or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982,

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