Announcing the Jack Leitch Award in Entrepreneurial Thinking

A photo of Jack Leitch

Longtime York University supporter Jack Leitch will be celebrated with an annual award in his name that recognizes incoming MBA students. The inaugural recipient of the Jack Leitch Award in Entrepreneurial Thinking will be announced this fall.

A collage of photos of Jack Leitch
Jack Leitch through the years

Leitch left an enduring legacy at York and the Schulich School of Business, beginning in 1965 when he made his first donation toward the Founders Fund at York during Schulich’s founding year. Leitch was close friends with James Gillies, the founding dean of Schulich, which at that time was known as the Faculty of Administrative Studies.

His support for York and Schulich continued for decades, and he served as a member of the University’s Board of Governors for many years. Over the years that followed, Leitch championed and contributed to the success, growth and innovation of the Schulich School of Business and York University through his generous support of various initiatives, including: student awards, scholarships and bursaries; capital projects and University-wide campaigns; and the Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance, among many others.

“My father had core values that he followed through his family and business life: empathy, honesty and courage,” said Leitch’s daughter, Jean Vander Ploeg, when asked about her father’s enduring legacy. “Empathy for others and what they were experiencing; honesty to stand up for what is right; and courage to act on his convictions.”

The award celebrates Leitch’s generosity and the indelible mark that he left. It has been established at Schulich through a generous bequest of $250,000. The award will recognize and empower incoming MBA students who embody Leitch’s entrepreneurial spirit and acumen, and demonstrate experience in innovation, product design, leadership and entrepreneurship.

The application deadline is Friday, Oct. 8. For more information, contact