Introducing the Smith School of Business

Introducing the Smith School of Business

October 1, 2015


Business education has a new name at Queen’s University, following a historic $50-million gift from alumnus Stephen Smith (Sc’72).

The donation is the largest-ever gift to any business school in Canada, and one of the largest in Queen’s history. It comes as part of the university’s Initiative Campaign.

In recognition of Mr. Smith’s vision and generosity, Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, announced a new name for the school: the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business.

“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.”

Stephen Smith (Sc’72)
Photo credit: Margaret Mulligan for First National Financial Corp.

Mr. Smith is a leading Canadian financial services entrepreneur and philanthropist, who believes deeply in the importance of education and its power to drive the prosperity of our country. He made his donation to advance the leadership position of Queen’s and its school of business within Canada and internationally.

“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,” Mr. Smith says. “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 business school and further raise the excellence of business education at Queen’s, ultimately benefiting the economic competiveness of Ontario and Canada.

The gift will fund new chairs and professorships to help recruit and retain leading 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.”

Mr. Smith 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.

Learn more about Stephen Smith and his gift to Queen’s
Smith Business