Facility renaming honours long-serving Schulich dean

Dezsö J. Horváth Executive Learning Centre

On Sept. 28, York University’s Schulich School of Business hosted a milestone event celebrating the renaming of the school’s Executive Learning Centre in honour of Dean Emeritus Dezsö J. Horváth.

Dezsö J. Horváth
Dezsö J. Horváth

Horváth led the school for 32 years, making him the longest-serving dean of any major business school in the world. As dean, Horváth helped Schulich attain international prominence and renown. He transformed Schulich into a global business school and expanded its reach and influence around the world. He also spearheaded the development of innovative degrees and pioneering programs and helped make Schulich a world leader in the field of responsible business, among others.

The renaming of the Executive Learning Centre as the Dezsö J. Horváth Executive Learning Centre is the latest of many honours for the former dean. Other awards and recognitions he has received over the course of his career include being named International Dean of the Year in 2004 by the Academy of International Business in recognition of his “outstanding leadership in various aspects of internationalization” and being appointed to the Order of Canada in 2008 for his academic leadership and sustained commitment to business education.

“Serving as dean of the Schulich School of Business was the greatest accomplishment of my career – and also the most satisfying and enriching,” said Horváth in his keynote address. “Throughout my career, I was fortunate to be surrounded by incredibly talented and capable people. I had a strong faculty, tremendous advisory boards, a loyal and successful alumni network and, most of all, a dedicated and highly professional team of staff members.”

He concluded his remarks by addressing the members of the Schulich global community: “You cared about our school. You believed in what we were trying to achieve. And you made us successful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Current Schulich Dean Detlev Zwick presented Horváth with a plaque in recognition of the honorific naming, describing it as “a proclamation of the high esteem in which you are held by the Schulich and York communities and as a sign of the sincere gratitude we share for all that you have done.”

Schulich Dean Detlev Zwick presents Dean Emeritus Dezsö J. Horváth with a replica plaque in recognition of the honorific naming.

A number of leading members of the Schulich community attended the event and paid tribute to Horváth, including: Seymour Schulich, OC (Hon. LLD ’03), the school’s chief benefactor and one of Canada’s greatest entrepreneurs; Robert Krembil, CM (MBA ’71, Hon. LLD ’00), an individual synonymous with health-care research and philanthropy in Canada; Rob McEwen, CM (MBA ’78, Hon. LLD ‘05) and Cheryl McEwen (Hon. LLD ’19), benefactors of the school’s Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building; Leslie Dan, CM, O Ont (Hon. LLD ’10), one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs in the field of health and medicine; Bill Graham (MBA ’86), former president of Schulich’s Global Alumni Network; and Paul Tsaparis (MBA ’84), Chair of York University’s Board of Governors. Other prominent members of the Schulich community who attended the event include Rick Waugh, OC (MBA ’74, Hon. LLD ’07), former deputy Chair, president and chief executive officer of Scotiabank.

York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton, who was on business overseas, provided a special videotaped message, as did a number of other individuals who worked closely with Horváth, including: John Hunkin (MBA ’69, Hon. LLD ’04), former Chair of the Schulich Dean’s Advisory Council; G.M. Rao (Hon. LLD ’11), Chair of the School’s India Advisory Council; and, representing Schulich students from over the years, former Graduate Business Council President Kiki Oyerinde (IMBA ’20). Lisa Philipps, York University provost and vice-president, academic, gave a toast at a special private luncheon following the naming celebration.

One of the highlights of the naming ceremony was the announcement of the prestigious Dezsö J. Horváth Visionary Leadership Award, to be awarded annually to an entering Schulich MBA or Tech MBA student who demonstrates academic excellence, leadership and potential. The inaugural recipient of the award, Asma Afrin Hassan, a student in Schulich’s new Tech MBA program, was announced during the ceremony.

The building renaming was made possible thanks to the generous support provided by Seymour Schulich and the Schulich Foundation, Robert Krembil and the Krembil Foundation, Rob and Cheryl McEwen, and Leslie Dan, among others. Zwick and Tsaparis co-chaired the event. Marcia Annisette, professor of accounting at Schulich and York’s newly named vice-provost academic, served as the master of ceremonies.

The newly renamed Dezsö J. Horváth Executive Learning Centre first opened in 2003 and includes an 11-storey hotel, lecture halls, breakout rooms, a fireside lounge, a penthouse boardroom and an 80-seat private dining room.