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NEWS RELEASE - Queen’s University names the Stephen J. R. Smith School of Business in recognition of historic $50-million gift

Thursday, October 1, 2015

KINGSTON, Ont. – Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University, today announced the naming of the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in honour of Mr. Smith and his historic $50-million donation to the school.

Mr. Smith, a Queen’s alumnus and leading Canadian financial services entrepreneur and philanthropist, made his donation to advance the leadership position of Queen’s and its school of business within Canada and internationally. His donation is the largest-ever gift to any business school in Canada and comes as part of Queen’s $500-million Initiative Campaign.

“Queen’s is thrilled to receive this remarkable gift from such a distinguished alumnus and outstanding Canadian. On behalf of Queen’s, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to Stephen Smith for his vision and generosity,” says Principal Woolf. “This gift will help strengthen the university’s global reputation for excellence in business education and provide a legacy that will benefit students and faculty for generations to come.”

Mr. Smith is a successful entrepreneur in the financial sector and an outstanding Canadian who believes deeply in the importance of education and its power to drive the prosperity of our country. He earned a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in electrical engineering from Queen’s University in 1972 and is the co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of First National Financial Corporation, Canada’s largest non-bank lender of residential and commercial mortgages. He is also chairman and co-owner of Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance, the country’s third-largest mortgage insurance provider.

“I have been very fortunate in both my professional and personal life and I am proud to have this opportunity to give back to Queen’s. The university provided me with a transformative education that served as a foundation for all of my endeavours,” says Mr. Smith. “The school of business has the energy and strategy to advance its international influence and recognition, which will be good for students, the university and for Canada.”

The donation will be endowed to provide ongoing resources to attract top talent to the school and further raise the excellence of business education at Queen’s, ultimately benefiting the economic competiveness of Ontario and Canada. It will fund new chairs and professorships to help recruit and retain the best faculty members, and will significantly increase the number of scholarships to attract top students.

“This extraordinary gift will enable the school to continue to transform business education and further its leadership position both nationally and internationally,” says David Saunders, Dean of the Stephen J. R. Smith School of Business. “It will allow the school to bring together the best minds from around the world to deliver innovative learning experiences and pursue leading business research.”


The Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business is one of the world's premier business schools. It is renowned for its exceptional programs, outstanding faculty and research, and the quality of its graduates. It delivers a range of outstanding undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in Kingston, across Canada and internationally.

Queen’s University is one of Canada’s leading universities and among its oldest degree-granting institutions. It offers a transformative student learning experience enriched by a research-intensive environment. Established in 1841, Queen’s is home to roughly 22,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all provinces and more than 100 countries around the world. Its Initiative Campaign, launched in 2012, is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history. Its goal is to raise $500-million to ensure Queen’s future as a destination for exceptional people.

Media Contact:

Chris Armes
Communications Officer, Media Relations
613-533-6000 ext. 77513