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Queen’s University receives historic donation from former student

Queen’s University received a $100 million donation from a former student on Thursday, the largest gift made to an engineering faculty in Canada. 

“This opens up a new era. This will be about a change in the way we educate students so they can make an impact,” said Kevin Deluzio, dean of the Smith Faculty of Engineering.

The gift came from former student and financial entrepreneur, Stephen Smith. 

As part of the announcement, the engineering faculty also has a new name. It is now known as the Stephen J.R. Smith Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, or Smith Engineering for short. 

The university says the money will help with investments in research, technology and equipment, along with new programs. 

“At its heart, it’s about educating engineers to do their work within a humanistic social context,” said Patrick Dean, principal of Queen’s University.

It follows calls to revolutionize engineering education, to help position students to better solve the problems of today like climate change.

“I hope my gift, that in five years, we will be looking back and say we have great engineers, but also we have engineers that are better suited to solve big problems facing society,” Smith said. 

Smith graduated in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. 

Keeping Queen’s close to his heart, in 2015 he donated $50 million to the Queen’s business school. 

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