Simon Fraser University has received its largest ever gift - Can$22m - from former undergraduate Ryan Beedie, a construction magnate. The gift means that SFU Business, in Vancouver, will now be renamed the Beedie School of Business.
Daniel Shapiro, dean of the newly named school, says that the gift will help make the school a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, Asia Pacific business studies, risk management and sustainability. “The students who graduate from SFU’s Beedie School of Business will go on to lead existing Canadian businesses and to create exciting new ones,” he says. “This gift is really an investment in the economic future of British Columbia and Canada.”
Mr Beedie, who donated the money with his father Keith, went on to study for an MBA at the Sauder school at the University of British Columbia after receiving a BBA from SFU. In 1992, he joined his family’s industrial real estate development firm, which has since grown to be the largest landlord of industrial space in British Columbia.
Naming gifts are widespread in Canadian business schools. The Ivey school at the University of Western Ontario took its name following a Can$11m gift from Richard Ivey in 1995, while in 1997 the University of Toronto business school became known as the Rotman school following a Can$15 gift from Joseph Rotman. In Vancouver, UBC named its business school the Sauder school in 2003 after the late William Sauder, following a gift of Can$20m.