Laurentian University's School of Engineering has received a $10 million donation from Stan Bharti, the chairman and CEO of Forbes & Manhattan.
Bharti, an engineer by trade, lived in Greater Sudbury from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, first working at Falconbridge, and then as an entrepreneur.
In honour of his donation, the engineering school was renamed the Bharti School of Engineering.
The donation brings Laurentian's Next 50 campaign to $48.6 million, close to its $50 million goal.
“We have a Bharti Family Foundation which one of my sons runs, and it gives a lot of money to foundations, wildlife, nature and children,” Bharti said.
“That's really our cause. This was sort of outside the normal scope of what we do. This (donation) really should, in the next few years, give Laurentian $1 million a year, if they invest it smartly. That is a lot of money for an engineering school.”
Bharti's company, Forbes & Manhattan, is a private merchant bank with a global focus on resource-based sectors. Its headquarters are in Toronto, but it has offices, operations and assets around the globe.
Ramesh Subramanian, director of the school of engineering, said receiving the donation is “just unbelievable.”
He said he hopes to use the funds to increase student scholarships, thereby attracting the best engineering students, to recruit top-notch professors, “and upgrading labs to make them world-class.”
“The students are going to design competitions now, and to do that, the students have to have the most modern labs and software,” Subramanian said. “A lot of the money is going to go there.”
Laurentian University president Dominic Giroux said the donation will continue to influence the school of engineering “for decades to come.”
“It will ensure that this university can truly make its mark in the world as a centre of excellence in the engineering sciences,” Giroux said.
Northern Life president Michael Atkins, who is also the vice-chair of Laurentian's board of governors, said the donation will “take the university to another place.”
“It's how you see yourself,” he said.
“Do you play in the big leagues, or not? This is a big league contribution. It demonstrates how important Laurentian is in the mining engineering world. We're at the top, and we deserve to be at the top.”
For more on this story, check future editions of Northern Life.
Posted by Heidi Ulrichsen