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$50 million donated to Engineering

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The University of Calgary Faculty of Engineering received the largest single donation in U of C history last month.

A total of $50 million was granted to the faculty, with $25 million donated by Ontario philanthropist Seymore Schulich, and $25 million from the Alberta government's Access to the Future Fund. In honour of Schulich's gift, which is the fourth largest charitable donation to any Canadian university, the Faculty of Engineering was renamed the Schulich School of Engineering.

A large portion of the funds will stay with the students.

"There will be 102 scholarships for undergrad students per year in perpetuity," explained U of C President Dr. Harvey Weingarten. "These are the most highly-valued scholarships for engineering students in the entire country."

Of the 102 yearly scholarships, 42 will have a value of $10,000, 30 will be valued at $20,000 and 30 will cover full tuition for one year.

In addition, $200,000 per year will be allocated to field trips, and another $200,000 will go towards engineering student clubs, teams and organizations. Up to $500,000 per year will be allotted to improve the quality of student education through student job placement, course material development, recruitment and learning materials.

The donation will also fund three new research chairs in the department.

Schulich, co-founder of Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation and Chairman of Newmount Capital Limited isn't new to charitable donations. This donation is the third in a series of four across the country. Schulich estimated he has given $150 million to universities across Canada in the past ten years, and he hopes his action can stand as a model for other Canadian philanthropists.

"I hope we bring a lot of other guys into doing this," said Schulich. "In Canada, per capita giving is about half of what it is in the States."

Schulich said an engineering school was a natural choice for his third major donation and the U of C was chosen, in part, because of his company's work in Calgary and Alberta.

"We took a lot of money out of investments in Calgary and it's high time we gave something back," said Schulich. "This will be transformational for the engineering profession in Alberta."

Engineering Students' Society President Mark Skovmose expressed his excitement at being an engineering student in the upcoming year.

"I can't even imagine the changes that are going to come from this­­--it's going to be amazing," said Skovmose "I hope everything improves and I like how a huge chunk of this is going to student clubs and organizations."

Premier Ralph Klein and Minister of Advanced Education David Hancock both attended the Wed., Jun. 22 presentation.

The previous largest donation was $18 million dollars in September 2004 from Allan Markin which was used to create the Markin Institute for Public Health.

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