Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor
Ceremony Announcing The Segal Centre for Graduate Management Studies Bank of Montreal Building
Thursday, January 24, 2002
Remarks By Dr. Michael Stevenson
President and Vice-Chancellor
Simon Fraser University
Good morning. I am Michael Stevenson, President of Simon Fraser University, and it is my great pleasure to welcome you here today for an important announcement about a major new initiative in the development of SFU's campus and programs in downtown Vancouver.
We are gathered in this historic temple bank building, built in 1916, and subsequently the main Vancouver branch of the Bank of Montreal until the year 2000. Last year, this wonderful heritage building was purchased by a great friend of Simon Fraser University, our Chancellor Emeritus Joe Segal. Now Joe, Rosalie and the Segal family are making this superb site available to Simon Fraser University as a home for our graduate management programs. They have also generously provided the lead donation of $3 million towards the capital campaign in support of these programs. In recognition of this most recent generosity and in recognition of the long history of their support to SFU, I am pleased to announce that this building will become The Segal Centre for Graduate Management Studies at Simon Fraser University.
Simon Fraser University is truly excited about this new initiative. We are a relatively young institution, only 36 years old, yet we have made a significant impact on post-secondary education and on the social and economic lives of Greater Vancouver and beyond. Ranked consistently through the last decade amongst the best universities in Canada, SFU has achieved excellence in research and teaching in the liberal arts and sciences, as well as in innovative interdisciplinary and professional programs. More than 30 years ago, we established the first Executive MBA program in Canada. We were the first university in western Canada to establish a co-op studies program, allowing our students to benefit from study in the workplace. More than 13 years ago we established a downtown campus at Harbour Centre in the historic Spencer building at which today more than 60,000 learners enrol in one program or another. Most recently in the fall of 2000, we opened The Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue in another heritage bank building, just a block away.
Today, Simon Fraser University is taking a giant new step ahead, building on its already well established tradition for innovation and outreach to the community, and extending the heritage corridor in which our downtown campus is located. It is a step forward that is typically based upon the initiative and generosity of a great friend of our University. And it is a step forward that establishes a new standard in the development of private-public partnerships that are now so crucial to sustaining quality and vitality in publicly assisted universities.
The Segal Centre for Graduate Management Studies will be a place where scholars, students and business leaders come together to explore the latest problems in management, to teach and to learn, and, ultimately, to strengthen economic activity in British Columbia. Located in the Segal Centre will be unique management programs and specialized centres of research, continuing the tradition of innovation and leadership in management education that is the hallmark of Simon Fraser University.
Of course, we cannot do this on our own. In fact, we are counting on the help of our many friends in the community and today I am pleased to announce that we are establishing a Council for The Segal Centre for Graduate Management Studies. This Council will take the lead in the development of the Segal Centre and will direct a capital campaign to renovate this prized building, so that it will incorporate the most current educational and technological design. The Council will ensure that Simon Fraser University builds the necessary endowments to recruit the very best faculty and graduate students. This prestige location and accommodation, together with the academic quality improvements made possible by this new capital funding, will ensure that SFU's graduate programs offer the highest standards of management education and that we attract the best faculty and students from this province, from Canada, and from around the world.
I am especially pleased to announce that the Council will be chaired by Dr. Donald Rix, Chairman of MDS Metro Laboratory Services and CanTest Laboratory Ltd. Don Rix is a close friend of SFU, and an indefatigable volunteer in support of fundraising for universities and other public institutions. He will be joined by prominent members of the Vancouver business community as well as by friends and alumni in the wider Canadian and international business communities. With their assistance, we look forward to completing a highly focused fundraising campaign within two years and to begin moving our management programs into this facility in 2003.
We are especially grateful to Don Rix and the members of the Council who will lead this new fundraising campaign. Their support signifies the commitment they share with us to three defining principles that underlie the creation of The Segal Centre for Graduate Management Studies.
First, a major university with interests in business and management education needs first-rate graduate programs in these areas.
Second, a first-rate graduate program in business and management education needs a high-profile, prestige location in a major economic centre.
Third, major urban centres need major downtown business and management education centres.
The Segal Centre for Graduate Management Studies will move SFU to a new level of leadership in business education. It will establish Vancouver on a par with the major economic centres of North America that have prestigious downtown business school facilities. And it will help fuel the growth and recovery of the BC economy centred on Vancouver by providing the highest quality management education developed in close partnership with and outreach to the local business community. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The Segal Centre. We invite all members of the community to celebrate this wonderful new addition to SFU's campus and the wonderful new opportunities it will afford the University, Vancouver and British Columbia.