GIE million dollar donation

Laurier alumnus Bill Webb donated $1 million to the new Global Innovation Exchange building

Bill Webb, a Wilfrid Laurier University alumnus and his wife, Agnes Wong, have made a $1 million donation to the school of business and economics.

Webb said the motivation behind the donation is accredited to the extensive social and educational exposure he gained from his years at Laurier that helped launch his career. He currently works in Toronto, but continues to support the university through continuous involvement.

“I got a terrific business education,” Webb explained. “My family is in a position where we would like to give back.”

Webb is hopeful students will gain the same level of opportunity he had. The international opportunities the new building will provide a home for will do just that, he hopes.

The contribution is going towards the cost the Global Innovation Exchange building, an initiative that will cost a total of $103 million, said Robert Donelson, vice-president of development and alumni relations.

The building was originally intended to be completed in September of this year, but has been delayed until January 2016. The delay is partly due to the harsh winter season from last year, Donelson explained.

Of the $103 million, $72.6 million has been given to the university by the province of Ontario. The remaining $30 million are private costs, which will be raised by the university. Webb’s donation is a portion of this cost that will go strictly to the new building.

The money will help fund the international opportunities Webb spoke of and new programmatic growth.

For his contribution, a classroom on the main floor of the building will be named in honour of Webb and his wife.

After the donation, roughly $29 million is left to be raised. Donelson explained that this is where the marketing campaign, “building Canada’s best business school,” comes into play. It is geared towards raising the extra construction cost of the new building.

Although the total sum of $103 million is solely intended for the cost of the building, additional growth in the school of business and economics will also be gained through this campaign. SBE is pursuing an added $20 million as part of the growing campaign that will provide support for international opportunities, internships, professorships and chairs.

“This campaign is not only supporting the construction cost but supporting the programmatic needs within the school of business,” said Donelson.

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