On July 10, 2001, Veteran Toronto businessman and active participant in the Canadian policy landscape, Jack Lawrence, HBA '56, announced a gift of $3.7 million to the Ivey Business School to fund a much-needed expansion. The gift will be used to build the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management, an expansion and addition of the current National Centre for Management Research and Development ("NCMRD") Building on the campus of The University of Western Ontario. Jack Lawrence is a strong believer in Corporate Canada's ability to affect the direction of public policy. Throughout his career Jack has been vocal in expressing his view to government and has been an active member of the Business Council on National Issues for many years.
In addition, $300,000 will be provided by the Ontario Superbuild Corporation, Government of Ontario. It will be a locus for research and teaching on issues of public policy. The Centre is scheduled to open early in 2002.
"Mr. Lawrence's initiative underscores his leadership in the Canadian business community today and his commitment to it tomorrow," said Ivey Business School Dean, Larry Tapp. "Thanks to his generosity and the assistance of the Ontario government, we will have a building that reflects the values and aspirations of Ivey's students, faculty and alumni."
"In Ivey, Western has the best business school in Canada and one that consistently ranks as one of the best in the world," said Dr. Paul Davenport, Western's President. "Mr. Lawrence's generous support and the commitment of the Ontario government will build on its existing strengths and benefit students for generations to come."
The newly renovated Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management will add a floor to the existing structure, which will help ease the extreme space pressures caused by Ivey's rapidly growing student population. The third floor addition will allow for several new breakout rooms, which will enhance teamwork - an integral component of the Ivey learning experience. The expansion will also provide new faculty offices. The Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management is expected to celebrate its official opening early in 2002.
Jack Lawrence is Chairman and CEO of Lawrence & Company, a venture capital, merchant banking and money management firm. Prior to that, he was Deputy Chairman of Nesbitt Burns Inc. and Chief Executive Officer of Burns Fry Limited and its predecessor companies for more than 20 years.
"This Centre will become a strong advocate for sound policy that will ensure a powerful future for Canada," says Mr. Lawrence. "It will provide a forum for the private sector - corporations, media, academia - to work with the government and actively participate in public policy issues… not only for their own benefit, but for the greater good of the entire country as a competitor in a global marketplace. I'm convinced that the Ivey Business School has the right image and profile to make this objective a reality."
Lawrence says he was happy to make the gift because Ivey gave him an important start in his career and helped him achieve success. "I'm glad to help Ivey provide similar experiences for future students - business leaders that this country needs."
According to Tapp, "We are very fortunate at Ivey to have alumni like Jack, who see the School as an important contributor to the Canadian business community and are willing to support it. I believe their confidence is well placed - just look at our performance in recent surveys in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Business Week.
This expansion program reflects Ivey's continuing strategy to build upon its leadership position as one of the world's elite business schools. The School has recently been recognized as the premier provider of business education in a series of International surveys.