York is now on the verge of an incredible change that will take us to the next level, said York University President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri Thursday, just before announcing a $5-million donation from Ignat Kaneff, chair and CEO of the Kaneff Group of Companies.
The donation is in support of the University’s Lassonde School of Engineering. Together with previous donations, the Kaneff family has committed almost $8 million to shaping the learning environment of the future for York students.
From left, Ignat Kaneff and Mamdouh Shoukri toast the renaming of the York Research Tower to the Kaneff Tower and a $5-million gift from the Kaneff family to the University’s Lassonde School of Engineering
“York University is very thankful to Dr. Kaneff for his generous gift to the University for the development of the Lassonde School of Engineering,” said Shoukri. “Dr. Kaneff’s commitment to education that meets the future needs of our students and our society is consistent with his outstanding contributions over decades as one of Canada’s great builders and philanthropists.”
Janusz Kozinski, dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering, thanking Ignat Kaneff for his generosity as his wife Didi applauds
The research tower at York University has been named the Kaneff Tower in recognition of this commitment to York’s Lassonde School of Engineering. Kaneff attended the announcement with his wife Didi and his two daughters, Anna-Maria and Kristina. Several dignitaries, including former premier of Ontario Bill Davis, were also in attendance.
Kaneff, who came to Canada in 1951 with little education or money, was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by York’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 2010 for his role in building Canadian communities and for his support of access to education.
“It gives me a great pleasure and pride, on behalf of my family, to make this gift to the engineering school at York University. It is our responsibility as a country to provide first-class education to our students and the facilities to match it,” said Kaneff. “It enables our students to compete with the rest of the world. I’m honoured that Canada has provided me with the opportunity to support its most important educational institution and our next generation of leaders in engineering, science, technology and research.”
Ignat Kaneff and his wife Didi at yesterday’s announcement
With the Kaneff family’s help, the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University will offer a new type of engineering education.
“Dr. Kaneff’s generosity will help us to educate a new generation of entrepreneurial engineers who, like Iggy, have a social conscience and the passion to achieve their dreams,” said Janusz Kozinski, dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering.
Shoukri unveiled a representation of a plaque that will be installed in the lobby of the Kaneff Tower.
Above: The Kaneff family from left, Kristina Kaneff with her father Ignat, his wife Didi and daughter Anna-Maria