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Alumni · Declan Kelly

Delivering on a Vow

Mar 5, 2018


Bill Brock, MBA ’63, LLD ’05, and his wife Anne provide critical support for PhD students

Long before the global financial crisis, Bill Brock was thinking of new ways for Canadian higher education to not only survive but thrive in the face of changing financial realities.

In a 2003 interview with The Globe and Mail, the former deputy chairman of TD Bank Group discussed “a need for universities to build independent pools of capital.” Brock concluded the interview by vowing that he would “keep looking for things I can do to make an exceptional contribution.”

At that time, Brock was in the midst of a four-year commitment serving as Chair of Campaign Western, which was seeking to raise $275 million. The campaign was a huge success, due in part to Brock’s efforts. It raised $326 million, creating a new large pool of funds for Western University.

With his family’s latest major gift in support of the PhD Program at Ivey, Brock and his wife Anne are once again delivering on that vow.

In November, the School officially announced the Brocks’ $1-million gift toward the existing Brock Scholarships, resulting in an award fund totalling $2 million. The Brock Scholarship Fund enables Ivey to offer students in the PhD Program an award valued at $120,000 over four years.

“The Brock Scholarship Fund will continue to offer critical support to Ivey’s PhD students,” says Acting Dean Mark Vandenbosch, HBA ’84. “This will further enhance our ability to attract exceptional scholars who will conduct valuable new research and ensure a bright future for management education.”

One such student is current Brock Scholar Sampath Bemgal, a third-year PhD candidate in information systems. Bemgal’s research focuses on how organizations can more fully benefit from adopted information systems, while also exploring practices that improve interactions between employees and information systems.

Bemgal says the support of the Brock Scholarship provides extra motivation as he approaches each new phase of his research.

“Receiving this scholarship again signifies that my academic efforts from the past year have been appreciated,” Bemgal says. “It definitely increases my determination to do quality research in my field and become more focused in my goals.”

Fellow Brock Scholar Nahyun Kim is a third-year PhD candidate in sustainability. Kim’s research has explored how the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011 influenced energy policy worldwide and how firms respond to such policy changes by taking social and environmental actions to reduce uncertainty.

Kim says the support of the Brock Scholars Program has reinforced her sense of purpose in pursuing academic research in sustainability, while also boosting her long-term career and research prospects.

“It has enabled me to view social phenomena in diverse ways and think about my role as an academic researcher, in addressing real-life issues and concerns effectively,” she notes.

The powerful impact of Bill and Anne’s support shows that their contributions – to Ivey, its students, and the future of business education – have been exceptional indeed.