Queen's School of Business Named After Alumnus Stephen J.R. Smith - IEDP
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Smith School of Business: A New Name at Queen's University

Queen's School of Business re-named after alumnus Stephen J.R. Smith, a Canadian financial services entrepreneur and philanthropist


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Queen’s University has renamed The Stephen J. R. Smith School of Business in recognition of a $50-million donation to the school by Mr. Smith, a Queen’s alumnus and leading Canadian financial services entrepreneur and philanthropist. His donation is the largest-ever gift to any business school in Canada and comes as part of Queen’s $500-million Initiative Campaign aimed at advancing the leadership position of Queen’s and its school of business within Canada and internationally.

Announcing the renaming Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University, said: “Queen’s is thrilled to receive this remarkable gift from such a distinguished alumnus and outstanding Canadian. On behalf of Queen’s, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to Stephen Smith for his vision and generosity.... “This gift will help strengthen the university’s global reputation for excellence in business education and provide a legacy that will benefit students and faculty for generations to come.”

Mr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Queen’s University in 1972 and is the co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of First National Financial Corporation, Canada’s largest non-bank lender of residential and commercial mortgages. He is also chairman of Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance, the country’s third-largest mortgage insurance provider.

Expressing his strong belief in the importance of education and its power to drive prosperity, Smith said: “I have been very fortunate in both my professional and personal life and I am proud to have this opportunity to give back to Queen’s. The university provided me with a transformative education that served as a foundation for all of my endeavours… “The school of business has the energy and strategy to advance its international influence and recognition, which will be good for students, the university and for Canada.”

The donation will be endowed to provide ongoing resources to attract top talent to the school and further raise the excellence of business education at Queen’s, ultimately benefiting the economic competiveness of Ontario and Canada. It will fund new chairs and professorships to help recruit and retain the best faculty members, and will significantly increase the number of scholarships to attract top students.

“This extraordinary gift will enable the school to continue to transform business education and further its leadership position both nationally and internationally,” says David Saunders, Dean of the Stephen J. R. Smith School of Business. “It will allow the school to bring together the best minds from around the world to deliver innovative learning experiences and pursue leading business research.”

Alumni, Faculty and Students discuss the impact of the gift.

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