BMO Financial Group donates $1.25 million to Glendon

York University today announced a $1.25 million gift from BMO Financial Group in support of Glendon College through the Glendon College Opportunity Fund. The donation will be commemorated with an opening reception this afternoon, from 12:30 to 2:30pm, in Glendon Hall.

A portion of the gift – $1 million – will be used to establish the BMO Financial Group Conference Centre at the Glendon campus and fund development of public affairs programming, especially through the newly-created Glendon School of Public Affairs. The school – a first in Canada – will offer graduate students a high-level bilingual education that will prepare them for leadership roles in public life. (See the June 26 issue of YFile.) Glendon College is Canada’s only bilingual liberal arts college.

“Canada’s future competitiveness and strength depends in large part on the quality of its public sector,” said Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts (right). “The Glendon School of Public Affairs at York will be unique in Canada. It will respond to demand from federal and provincial governments for fully bilingual leaders and public service employees.”

The BMO Financial Group Conference Centre, housed in historic Glendon Hall, will be at the heart of the School of Public Affairs. When fully developed, the school will offer a bilingual master’s degree, executive development programs, stays for mid-career public servants and a research centre on public and international affairs.

“In keeping with BMO’s longstanding and overarching commitment to learning, we are pleased to support Glendon College’s unique and innovative programming in public affairs that links Canada’s two main languages and cultures with a focus on public life,” said L. Jacques Ménard, Chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns. “We are very pleased that the name of our organization will be associated with such a leading edge centre that will be the site of Glendon’s thriving distinguished speaker series, executive programming, special events and community outreach programs.”

Right: Historic Glendon Hall

The remaining $250,000 of the gift will establish the BMO Financial Group Scholarships; annually, 10 of the best and brightest first-year students at Glendon will each receive a $5,000 scholarship.

“BMO Financial Group is a long-time supporter of York University, and we are very pleased that BMO is once again providing leadership to York University in support of Glendon College, its faculty, students and staff,” said Paul Marcus, president and CEO of the York University Foundation.