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$7-million gift creates John F. Wood Centre for Innovation in Business Learning

  • Communications
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  • Oct 16, 2018
$7-million gift creates John F. Wood Centre for Innovation in Business Learning

Long before “experiential learning” was a central pillar of contemporary education, John Wood, HBA ’64, understood that how students learn is as important as what they’re learning.

Thanks to a transformational $7-million gift from Wood to establish the John F. Wood Centre for Innovation in Business Learning, Ivey Business School will play a leading role in defining the future of international management education. Wood’s remarkable commitment will significantly enhance Ivey’s recognized strength in developing business leaders who think globally, act strategically and contribute to the societies within which they operate.

Building on Ivey’s global reputation for teaching excellence, the John F. Wood Centre for Innovation in Business Learning will allow Ivey to play a leading role in addressing the significant disruptions facing business education worldwide. The shared vision of John, his family, and the Ivey Business School is that the Centre be the undisputed leader in developing innovative and highly effective ways to teach business to future generations of leaders.                                                  

Among elements funded by the gift will be the John F. Wood Chair in Innovation in Business Learning, to be held by the Director of the Wood Centre. The Wood Chair will research new approaches to teaching and learning in business, develop innovative curriculum, explore the relationship between technology and in-person learning, collaborate with all programs at Ivey, and conduct significant outreach activities to non-Ivey audiences.

The gift will also establish the John F. Wood Course and Curriculum Development Fund to support faculty in developing new courses and teaching programs, expand Ivey’s educational outreach to secondary school students, provide permanent administrative support for the Centre, and establish the Ivey John F. Wood Centre Global Symposium on Innovation in Business Learning.

“To have a successful alumnus come forward and offer such strong support for Ivey’s work on innovation in business learning is a validation of not only our teaching and research contributions in this area to date, but also of our unique ability to deliver new teaching innovations going forward,” said Ivey’s Acting Dean Mark Vandenbosch. “John’s extraordinarily generous gift will benefit students at Ivey and throughout management education for generations to come.”

“The Ivey experience was wonderful. There’s no better way to learn business than the case method, and no better place to do it,” Wood said in 2013, reflecting on the importance of teaching methodology in his own time at the School.

John F. Wood has enjoyed a successful business career spanning more than five decades, including senior leadership roles in real estate development and appliance manufacturing. Between 1974 and 2005, Wood was president and chief executive officer of W.C. Wood Company Limited, which was North America’s second-largest manufacturer of household freezers, refrigerators and dehumidifiers. John also served as the board chair for Danby Products, a global appliance firm, and the founder of Coldpoint Holdings, a local real estate developer that is now run by his daughter. Through the W.C. Wood Foundation, John has been an ardent supporter of Ivey for many years, most recently naming a classroom in the School’s building as part of Ivey’s last campaign.