BMO’s $2.5M gift fosters new opportunities for students

January 18, 2021 | Hamilton, Ontario
Contributed by McMaster University

Reimagining business education

McMaster students pursuing their studies within the DeGroote School of Business’ reimagined business programs will have unparalleled opportunities to enhance their skills and competencies with the creation of the leading-edge BMO Connection Zone.

BMO Financial Group, one of Canada’s premier financial institutions, is supporting the formation of this highly anticipated space within the new McLean Centre for Collaborative Discovery, with a gift of $2.5 million. BMO’s investment is the lead corporate gift to the priority project.

BMO’s support underscores our commitment to advancing education and providing opportunities for students that will help them succeed,” said Sheri Griffiths, Senior Vice President, Head, Greater Ontario, Canadian Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. “This new open and flexible space will allow students to integrate knowledge, skills, and experiences across disciplines and foster collaboration.”

McLean Centre for Collaborative Discovery

The McLean Centre will be a state-of-the-art collaboration, collision, networking, and study space, equipped with interactive tools and technology to help students learn and work together to solve real-time real-world problems.

Construction of the $50-million McLean Centre is expected to begin in the spring of 2021 with the first cohort of students using the building beginning in September 2023.

The BMO Connection Zone, to be located on the first floor of the nine-storey McLean Centre, is designed to bring students from all areas and Faculties on campus to an area dedicated to encouraging thoughtful knowledge exchange, work integrated learning, and enhancing collaboration across business sectors with leaders like BMO.

McMaster President David Farrar commended BMO’s leadership in supporting the creation of a reimagined physical environment that is essential to the transformation of business education currently underway within the DeGroote School of Business.

“The generosity of BMO Financial Group is crucial to ensuring we can continue to enhance the teaching and learning environment to propel our students to be leaders and innovators at a time when these qualities are required more than ever,” said Farrar. “We are sincerely grateful to the BMO Financial Group for this tremendous investment in our students and our university.”

With this gift, BMO Financial Group supports the leading-edge rethinking of undergraduate business education at DeGroote – an undertaking that promises each of our students an education deepened by experience and broadened by exposure,” said DeGroote School of Business dean Len Waverman. “BMO’s most generous gift will have a critical impact on generations of future business leaders.”

BMO Connection Zone

The BMO Connection Zone is a gateway to the building’s discovery-based learning hubs, and will feature a light-filled, open, welcoming atrium, perfectly situated for showcasing DeGroote School of Business-specific events and campus-wide speakers and competitions. This inviting, flexible space will allow for informal student interactions with other students, faculty, and external stakeholders, and can also be transformed into a formal event space for up to 500 people.

Craig Dawdy, DeGroote Commerce Society president, thanked BMO for investing in McMaster students.

On behalf of DeGroote students, I want to thank BMO Financial Group for their generous investment in our future,” said Dawdy. “The new BMO Connection Zone will foster a strong sense of community, providing us with space that will enhance the learning experience enabling us to connect, collaborate, and build relationships to help us achieve success.”

The new gift is the latest in a legacy of partnership between BMO Financial Group, McMaster University and the DeGroote School of Business. BMO has supported McMaster undergraduate and graduate students with several bursaries and scholarships as well as invested in the research enterprise with the creation of the BMO Financial Group Chair in Capital Markets – Financial Literacy and the Individual Investor, currently held by Professor John Maheu.

To learn more about how we’re transforming business education and the McLean Centre for Collaborative Discovery, visit our page here.

Bank of Montreal

About BMO Financial Group

Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider – the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $949 billion as of October 31, 2020, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

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