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Fundraiser worries Laurentian University pool donation is sunk

A Laurentian University graduate says a nearly $8,000 donation made to the school in December appears to be gone.

Laurentian University grad says swimmers she was trying to help have been left high and dry

Stacey Zembrzycki, who received her undergraduate degree and was a varsity swimmer at Laurentian, was moved to fundraise when she heard the Olympic pool and athletics centre had closed in the fall for lack of funds. She says no one can tell her where the donation has gone. (Erik White/CBC )

A Laurentian University graduate says a nearly $8,000 donation made to the school in December appears to be gone.

Stacey Zembrzycki, who was also a varsity swimmer at Laurentian, was moved to fundraise when she heard the Olympic pool and athletics centre had closed in the fall for lack of funds.

She appealed to other former varsity swimmers to raise money to help the current swim team with their expenses.

When she heard about the university's insolvency just weeks later, she asked where her donation had gone — and it appears no one seems to know.

"I responded and said, you know, this is really serious because the implications around trust and donorship are huge for the university moving forward. I didn't receive a response about that," she said.

"I don't blame the people in advancement. They were operating as they should have without knowing the larger structures that were in place or were flawed."

Zembryzcki says she had made several stipulations to the university about the use of the money before it was given, but she says it appears that may not have protected it from the school's insolvency.

The university's insolvency will discourage donors and other supporters for a long time to come, she says, and notes that she's still trying to raise money by selling t-shirts.

"And sales have sort of flopped, because nobody wants Laurentian on their t-shirt. I have alumni who are getting calls saying, 'Didn't you graduate from Laurentian. Are you embarrassed?' There's a huge fallout here."

Laurentian did not respond to CBC's email to the communications department.

Former Laurentian University varsity swimmer Stacey Zembrzycki says almost eight thousand dollars raised to support the current swim team has disappeared with the school's insolvency. She fears the swimmers she was trying to help have been left high and dry. 7:05

With files from Kate Rutherford

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