In 2017, Cheryl and Rob McEwen (CM, MBA ’78, LLD ’05) made a transformational $8-million donation to the Schulich School Business – one of the largest gifts ever received by the school. Including their most recent gift, the McEwens have donated more than $10 million to benefit Schulich. In honour of their long-term support, York University named the Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building after them and is honouring them on Nov. 20 at the 2018 Bryden Alumni Awards.
“I hope that it inspires people to think about what they can do for the school,” said Cheryl. “The school is really the essence of all of those that make it what it is. The more you put yourself into something, the more you get out of it. Seek advice and network your way through difficult chapters. You really have to be fully engaged and fully committed.”
Her career embodies this. As a volunteer, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Cheryl has received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to advance research in regenerative medicine and stem cells. She is the vice-chair of the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation Board, which raises money for research, education and enhanced patient care. She has served on the board since 2005. As an entrepreneur, Cheryl has worked for 25 years within the fashion industry and is the founder of Make My Day Foods. A firm believer in the ability of nutrition to prevent disease and support overall mental and physical well-being, Cheryl’s community leadership has helped raise over $26 million to support medical research and patient care.
Rob is Chair and chief owner of McEwen Mining. He is also the founder, former Chair and CEO of Goldcorp, one of the world’s largest gold producers. In 1990, he pivoted from the investment industry to the mining industry, where he consolidated five companies to create Goldcorp. During his 13 years at the helm, the company’s market capitalization grew from $50 million to over $8 billion and its share price grew at a compound annual rate of 31 per cent. Rob is a recipient of the Order of Canada, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and PDAC Developer of the Year Award, and in 2017 he was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. In 2005, York University bestowed Rob with an honorary doctor of laws. In 2007, he received the Schulich Alumni Recognition Award for Outstanding Executive Leadership.
Rob credits his success to being “stubbornly persistent.” He adds, “Ask for responsibility. That will give you the freedom to drive your future. Do not sit back and wait. Going through school, I never contemplated an award like this, but suddenly sitting there, them saying, ‘We’re going to give you this.’ Well, isn’t that very nice?”
In the larger community, the couple’s generosity is far reaching, having made donations in excess of $60 million to encourage excellence and innovation in health care and education. Rob and Cheryl’s donations have led to the creation of the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Toronto General Hospital, the McEwen School of Architecture at Laurentian University, the McEwen Leadership Program at St. Andrew’s College, and the Lakefield College Gym and Entrepreneurial Scholarship. In addition, they have made significant contributions to the Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital and the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre.
Now in its 18th year, the Bryden Alumni Awards celebrate outstanding York University alumni and friends who have achieved the extraordinary and made remarkable contributions in their fields, communities and to the University. Learn more about our 2018 Bryden recipients and purchase tickets or corporate tables for this year’s event at yorku.ca/Bryden2018.