The Len Morrow Entrance Scholarship in Commerce

Len Morrow is a man on a mission. He's a tireless volunteer working to improve the watershed near his British Columbia home, developing restorative justice programs for juveniles, and flying his plane to transport cancer patients to hospitals for treatment. But when the retired businessman decided at age 63 to make a sizeable donation to help others, he chose the School of Business and directed his donation towards MBA entrance scholarships for women.

"If these scholarships can help a woman in Canada or a woman from Zimbabwe or somewhere else to come to Queen's and then go back to their community and take a place of leadership. I am doing what is important to me. My MBA from Queen's got me opportunities I might otherwise not have had, and I'd like to help others get the same opportunity." he says.

His donation came after giving some thought to his values and what has been important in life. It boiled down to a desire to help those who have been "left behind." While there were many candidates to consider, Len kept returning to women, who he feels have been left behind in the top ranks of the business world.

Few people use the word "discrimination" much anymore to describe that issue, but he does, bluntly. "Discrimination is why it happens. Why aren't there more women in leadership in industry? Why isn't it closer to 50-50?"

By his own admission, Len has been lucky in life. An RMC grad of 1966, he obtained a Master of Science degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where he did early work on lasers. His military career included postings in B.C. and a return to RMC, this time as a lecturer. With some spare time on his hands, he signed up for an Economics class at Queen's. It must have struck a chord since his next step was to enroll in the MBA program. With his tuition covered by his teaching salary and augmented by a scholarship, he was fortunate to graduate debt-free in 1972.

After another posting back to his beloved B.C., Len decided to leave the military and bought a local construction company with a partner. He later acquired a struggling building supply store that grew to produce $15-million in revenues a decade later. In both enterprises, he employed a diverse workforce, about 40% of which was comprised of women at all levels of the organizations.

Since selling his business interests in 1992. Len has devoted himself to his many causes. He learned to fly a plane, and is now president of the local airpark in Courtenay, B.C., near his home. He started a local environment group to protect the watershed. He was founding director of the Community Justice Centre, which brings juvenile delinquents face to face with their victims and saves $1.5 million to $2 million a year in court costs. He's also a volunteer pilot with Angel Flight, airlifting cancer patients living in remote areas to hospitals for treatment.

But when it came to giving his money away, what stood out for him was the importance of education in general and Smith School of Business in particular. "The secret to solving the world's problems is through education. You need well-educated people who will become leaders," he says.