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Marilyn and Stewart Blusson

The faces behind the names

September 17, 2008

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Blusson Hall was named to honour SFU’s largest private donation to date — $12 million from Stewart and Marilyn Blusson (above left).

"Marilyn and I are interested in creating new approaches for solving big health issues," says Stewart Blusson. "Rather than competing with larger research institutions that have medical schools, 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 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 Canadian industry.

The two most public spaces in Blusson Hall — the Djavad Mowafaghian Atrium and the Djavad Mowafaghian Lecture Theatre — were named to honour a $4-million gift from Djavad Mowafaghian (above right). His donation will improve the lives of children worldwide by providing $2.5 million to support research in children’s health policy and $1.5 million to construct and outfit a level 3 containment laboratory for infectious disease research. "Children are one of the most important investments that we can make," says Mowafaghian. "They are the foundation of our society and need to be healthy to learn. Health and education are basic human rights, essential for a happy and productive life."

Mowafaghian earned his fortune as a developer in Iran before moving to Vancouver in 1987. Over the past 30 years, he has demonstrated his passion for "giving back" by funding various philanthropic projects and donating to various charities throughout the world. In 2003, he created and funded the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation to guarantee the continuation of his philanthropy.
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