One of Canada’s lead­ing phi­lan­thropists

The Canadian Jewish News (Toronto) - - News - — MY­RON LOVE

Sey­mour Schulich is a Mon­treal-born busi­ness­man and in­vestor who has used the wealth that he has ac­cu­mu­lated to ben­e­fit higher ed­u­ca­tion and med­i­cal re­search in Canada and Is­rael.

The 77-year-old phi­lan­thropist grad­u­ated from Mcgill Uni­ver­sity with a BSC in 1961, Mcgill’s De­sau­tels fac­ulty of man­age­ment in 1965 and the Uni­ver­sity of Vir­ginia, where he earned the des­ig­na­tion of char­tered fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst in 1969.

Schulich be­gan his work­ing ca­reer with the Shell Oil Com­pany. In 1968, he joined Beu­tel, Good­man & Com­pany Ltd., one of the largest pen­sion-fund man­age­ment firms in Canada, even­tu­ally be­com­ing pres­i­dent and vice-chair.

In 1978, while still with Beu­tel, Good­man, Schulich launched a new business ven­ture with part­ner Pi­ette Las­sonde. The two en­trepreneurs helped pi­o­neer the con­cept of roy­alty pay­ments in the min­ing in­dus­try. They co-founded Franco-ne­vada with the idea of gain­ing con­sis­tent rev­enue from pro­duc­tion pro­tected from cycli­cal prices. The com­pany paid US$2 mil­lion to ac­quire roy­al­ties cov­er­ing a small heap-leach mine in Ne­vada. The in­vest­ment paid off hand­somely when Bar­rick Gold de­vel­oped the corner­stone Gold­strike prop­erty into one of the largest and most prof­itable gold-min­ing op­er­a­tions in the world.

Schulich and Las­sonde formed a sec­ond roy­alty com­pany and ex­panded their port­fo­lio of roy­al­ties into other me­tals and com­modi­ties.

In more re­cent years, Schulich has fo­cused his ef­forts on phi­lan­thropy. He do­nated $20 mil­lion to Mcgill Uni­ver­sity’s fac­ulty of mu­sic, $25 mil­lion to the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­gary’s engineering fac­ulty, $26 mil­lion to the Uni­ver­sity of Western On­tario’s fac­ulty of medicine, $20 mil­lion to Dal­housie Uni­ver­sity’s law school and $15 mil­lion to Nipiss­ing Uni­ver­sity’s fac­ulty of ed­u­ca­tion.

The ma­jor ben­e­fi­ciary of Schulich’s gen­eros­ity among Cana­dian uni­ver­si­ties has been York Uni­ver­sity. In 1995, he en­dowed the Schulich School of Business (as it sub­se­quently be­came known) at York Uni­ver­sity with $15 mil­lion – at the time, the largest gift of its kind ever made to a Cana­dian uni­ver­sity. The do­na­tion was used to en­dow five aca­demic chairs and to cre­ate a se­ries of an­nual scholarships for Schulich stu­dents that re­ward aca­demic ex­cel­lence. His gift funds more than 27 an­nual named scholarships and awards, as well as nu­mer­ous bur­saries that have ben­e­fited hun­dreds of stu­dents at the un­der­grad­u­ate, grad­u­ate and post-grad­u­ate lev­els.

He later con­trib­uted $10 mil­lion to­ward the state-of-the-art business ed­u­ca­tion com­plex at York Uni­ver­sity, which opened in 2003. The com­plex houses the Schulich School and the Schulich Ex­ec­u­tive Learn­ing Cen­tre. He has also sup­ported a num­ber of other im­por­tant ini­tia­tives at York, in­clud­ing the Lorna R. Mars­den Hon­our Court and Wel­come Cen­tre. In to­tal, Schulich has given in ex­cess of $30 mil­lion to York Uni­ver­sity over the past two decades.

He has also been a ma­jor donor to Toronto’s Sun­ny­brook Health Sci­ences Cen­tre.

In Is­rael, in 2006, he do­nated $20 mil­lion to the Tech­nion’s fac­ulty of chem­istry. The do­na­tion was one of the largest gifts in the his­tory of the Tech­nion and Is­raeli higher ed­u­ca­tion. The gift will en­able the Schulich fac­ulty of chem­istry to sub­stan­tially up­grade its cur­rent re­search in­fra­struc­ture, as well as sup­port an­nual un­der­grad­u­ate scholarships, grad­u­ate, post-grad­u­ate and post-doc­toral fel­low­ships, and vis­its by in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned schol­ars in chem­istry.

In 2011, Schulich an­nounced a $100-mil­lion schol­ar­ship pro­gram tar­get­ing stu­dents en­ter­ing the science, tech­nol­ogy, engineering and math fields (STEM) in Canada and Is­rael. This gift is be­ing co-ad­min­is­tered by UJA Fed­er­a­tion of Greater Toronto and the Schulich Foun­da­tion. The pro­gram is called Schulich Leader Scholarships, the largest un­der­grad­u­ate STEM schol­ar­ship op­por­tu­nity in each coun­try.

Schulich has re­ceived many hon­ours for his char­i­ta­ble gifts with nu­mer­ous hon­orary de­grees and in­duc­tion into the Or­der of Canada as an of­fi­cer.

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