Schulich names new building in honour of entrepreneurs Rob and Cheryl McEwen

The Schulich School of Business at York University announces that its new graduate study and research building will be named in honour of Rob and Cheryl McEwen, long-time supporters of the school who are known for their leadership, entrepreneurialism and philanthropy.

An artist’s concept drawing of the new building

The naming of the Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building, which will open in late spring 2018, was celebrated Sunday during an unveiling ceremony at the new building’s construction site next to the Seymour Schulich Building on the Keele campus. Following the announcement, the McEwens joined York University President & Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton, Schulich School of Business Dean Dezsö Horváth and other dignitaries and guests for a celebratory reception that featured an Innovation and Discovery Gallery showcasing the school’s Centres of Excellence and Research Office.

The Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building will stand among the most environmentally sustainable academic buildings in North America and is a cornerstone element of the business school’s Leading Change fundraising and alumni engagement campaign, which aims to raise $50 million by 2021. To date, Leading Change has raised close to $35 million. Leading Change is an initiative of IMPACT: The Campaign for York University, which has a fundraising goal of $500 million with more than $350 million raised to date.

The McEwen’s $8-million donation is one of the largest gifts ever received by the Schulich School of Business. With this new donation, the McEwens have donated more than $10 million to the school.

(Left to right) Kathleen Taylor (MBA/JD ’84); Judy Schulich; Rob McEwen (MBA ’78); Cheryl McEwen, Dean ​Dezsö J. Horváth, President, York University, Rhonda Lenton; and President, Graduate Business Council, Alexandra Simpson
Above: From left, Kathleen Taylor (MBA/JD ’84, LLD (Hon.) ’14), Judy Schulich, Rob McEwen (MBA ’78, LLD (Hon.) ’05), Cheryl McEwen, Dean ​Dezsö J. Horváth, York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton, and Schulich Graduate Business Council President Alexandra Simpson

“The Schulich community is honoured and privileged to receive this valuable support from Rob and Cheryl McEwen, two of Canada’s most inspiring philanthropic and business leaders, who understand the critical importance of continued investment in leading management research and graduate education,” said Horváth. “The Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building, as part of the overall Schulich School of Business complex, will provide an ideal environment for faculty, visiting scholars, corporate and government leaders, as well as students and other stakeholders to collaborate and engage in new research discoveries, as our school continues to remain at the forefront of management education and research.”

“We are thrilled and so proud to have this opportunity to support the School’s new Graduate Study & Research Building,” said the McEwens. “As long-time members of the Schulich alumni community, we appreciate the transformational developments that have taken place at Schulich and that have helped it earn recognition as one of the world’s leading business schools.”

“Rob and Cheryl McEwen’s gift represents a milestone announcement in a number of ways,” said Lenton. “It is one of the largest gifts received by the Schulich School to date, and it will enable us to continue providing new, state-of-the-art spaces for our students, faculty and staff, creating the best possible environments in which to advance the world-class teaching, learning and research excellence underway here at York. We are deeply grateful to Rob and Cheryl, long-time friends and supporters of York University, for ensuring that Schulich remains one of the world’s leading innovators and global forces.”

Rob McEwen (MBA ’78); Judy Schulich; President, York University, Rhonda Lenton and Dean ​Dezsö J. Horváth
From left: Rob McEwen (MBA ’78), Judy Schulich, York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton and Dean ​Dezsö J. Horváth

Rob McEwen, a former Schulich Graduate Business Council president who graduated with an MBA in 1978, is one of seven co-chairs of Schulich’s Leading Change campaign and sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council. The founder and former chairman and CEO of Goldcorp, McEwen is chairman and chief owner of McEwen Mining. Inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 2017, McEwen was awarded the Order of Canada in 2007 and was named Canada’s Most Innovative CEO by Canadian Business magazine in 2006, among other honours. In 2005, McEwen received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University.

Cheryl McEwen is a community leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist. She is the recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for her contributions to advance research in regenerative medicine and stem cells. Her leadership roles include serving as vice-chair of UHN Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation, which raises money for research, education and enhanced patient care. She is also an entrepreneur, having worked for 25 years within the fashion industry, and is the founder of Make My Day Foods Inc. and the creator and manufacturer of The Veggie Puck®, an organic, frozen and nutrient-dense vegetable mixture to add to drinks.

As philanthropic leaders, the McEwens have invested more than $50 million over the years in support of excellence and innovation within the health care and education sectors.

Designed by the award-winning international architectural firm Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, the 67,000 square-foot building will address the need for increased student study and social space, as well as accommodate growth in new academic programs and modern research facilities to accommodate the School’s growing research activity and research culture. Schulich’s Research Office and Centres of Excellence, including the Centre for Responsible Business, the Centre for Global Enterprise, the Brookfield Centre in Real Estate and Infrastructure, and a future Centre of Excellence in Business Analytics, will all be housed in the new building.

The building will include many technical features at the forefront of environmental sustainability in North America. It will optimize the use of solar energy and use shading devices to maximize daylight. A 27-metre high solar chimney will drive passive natural ventilation and pre-heat the air intake. The building will be among the very few in Canada to incorporate Thermally Active Building Systems – radiant heating and cooling. The building will also feature a green roof and rainwater recapture system, as well as a number of other leading-edge technical features.