Fund­ing grants, re­search to sup­port earth sci­ences

The Globe and Mail (Prairie Edition) - - REPORT ON BUSINESS - PAUL WALDIE pwaldie@globeandmail.com

The donor Bob Wares

The gift: $5-mil­lion

The cause: McGill Uni­ver­sity

When Bob Wares was grow­ing up in Mon­treal, he loved col­lect­ing rocks and dreamed about be­com­ing a ge­ol­o­gist.

Mr. Wares stud­ied earth sci­ences at McGill Uni­ver­sity in the 1970s and went on to have a 35year ca­reer in min­ing, which in­cluded dis­cov­er­ing one of Canada’s large gold de­posits in Que­bec and an­other ma­jor gold find in Ari­zona. Over the years, he’s be­come in­creas­ingly con­cerned about the dwin­dling num­ber of ge­ol­o­gists in Canada and he be­gan do­nat­ing to McGill’s earth and plan­e­tary sci­ences de­part­ment.

His big­gest gift came this month, when he con­trib­uted $5mil­lion to­ward schol­ar­ships, re­search pro­grams and to fund an out­reach co-or­di­na­tor who will li­aise with CEGEPs and high schools to en­cour­age stu­dents to study earth sci­ences. He also do­nated $4.1-mil­lion in 2009 which funded schol­ar­ships and re­search awards.

“The whole ob­jec­tive is to boost the ge­ol­ogy de­part­ment,” he said from his home in Mon­treal. “The coun­try is run­ning out of ge­ol­o­gists and the only way to rem­edy that is to en­cour­age stu­dents to go into earth sci­ences. … Whether we like it or not, we’re still con­sum­ing met­als and oil and we’re not about to move away from that.”

Mr. Wares said he rou­tinely re­ceives let­ters from stu­dents who have ben­e­fited from the schol­ar­ships. “I get first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence with what im­pact it’s hav­ing,” he said. And maybe some of them will find some ma­jor de­posits, too. “Hope­fully,” he said. “Canada needs more de­posits.”

The whole ob­jec­tive is to boost the ge­ol­ogy de­part­ment. The coun­try is run­ning out of ge­ol­o­gists and the only way to rem­edy that is to en­cour­age stu­dents to go into earth sci­ences. BOB WARES MCGILL DONOR

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