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The new home for SFU's Faculty of Health Sciences will be named Blusson Hall, thanks to a $12-million gift from Stewart and Marilyn Blusson.

The new home for SFU's Faculty of Health Sciences will be named Blusson Hall, thanks to a $12-million gift from Stewart and Marilyn Blusson.

Record $12-million gift

May 17, 2007

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By Erica Branda

SFU will name its new health sciences building Blusson Hall in recognition of a gift last week from Stewart and Marilyn Blusson of $12 million — the largest private donation in the university's history.

Stewart Blusson is president of Archon Minerals Ltd. His 1991 discovery of a diamond deposit in the Northwest Territories led to the creation of the country's first operational diamond mine and spawned a burgeoning new Canadian industry.

Blusson Hall, previously known as the arts and social sciences complex 2, or ASSC2, is prominently located at the eastern edge of SFU's Burnaby campus. With about 11,700 square metres of classrooms, faculty offices and laboratories, it will accommodate more than 800 new students.

"This incredibly generous gift provides a strong vote of confidence for the pioneering programs in our newest faculty," says SFU President Michael Stevenson. "I appreciate Stewart and Marilyn's vision and commitment to research and education that can have a profound effect on the world."

The building was designed to encourage the interdisciplinary flow of ideas and activities among researchers and students in health science, arts, and public policy and practice — all working together to address regional and global public health issues.

"Marilyn and I are interested in creating new approaches for solving big health issues," says Stewart Blusson. "SFU has strategically focused on research and education aimed at preventing disease, rather than just curing it. This can potentially improve the lives of millions of people around the globe."

Blusson has been a generous supporter of research and education, having contributed to UBC, Quest University Canada, the Vancouver Aquarium and ICORD (International Collaboration On Repair Discoveries).

He recently donated $10 million (US) to establish the largest medical prize in history, the Archon X Prize, which set off an international race to develop a quick and inexpensive way to sequence the human genome.

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