Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

November 20, 2006

U of G Receives Major Gift from BMO

The University of Guelph’s commitment to increasing scholarship support for graduate students received a major boost today, courtesy of a $500,000 gift from the Bank of Montreal (BMO) Financial Group.

The gift was announced at the University-wide graduate student awards presentation Nov. 20. Close to 100 people attended the event, including graduate students who were recognized for their academic achievements and scholastic goals. Award donors, including individuals, families, corporations and organizations, also attended and were thanked for investing in the students' future.

The BMO gift will be used to establish an endowment fund that will eventually support five annual graduate scholarships, valued at $15,000 each. They will be distributed as part of the provincial Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) and Ontario Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology (OGSST) programs.

“Through its generous support, BMO is making a lifelong investment in the education of skilful and creative graduates who will become the future leaders of this country,” said University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee.

BMO has been making donations since its founding in 1817. Its philanthropic support of the University dates back to Guelph's first capital campaign in 1969. Tony Comper, president and chief executive officer of BMO Financial Group, said: “BMO has a longstanding and overarching commitment to learning. We are pleased to support the University of Guelph and to have our name associated with such a relevant and important endowment fund.”

The first beneficiary of the BMO fund is Lorna Deeth, a master’s student in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Summerlee said the University is dedicated to giving students access to an exceptional learning experience, and has been working diligently to increase the number of graduate students as per the recommendations of the provincial government. A key component of that effort is the availability of financial aid, he said.

Currently, OGS/OGSST programs operate on a two-to-one matching system, with the government providing $10,000 towards each scholarship and universities providing $5,000. Guelph is awarded about 120 such scholarships a year.

“Private support is vital to our ability to fund our share of each award, and gifts such as this one from BMO make it possible for the University to leverage the government funding,” Summerlee said.

In the past, U of G alumni, friends and corporate donors have also contributed to the OGS/OGSST program at Guelph by establishing other named endowments and making annual commitments.

A number of other new awards were announced at the Nov. 20 event. They are:

They are:
-- Fred Thompson Scholarship. Established and endowed by the Food Industry Suppliers of Canada Scholarship Trust in memory of Fred Thompson, who served as secretary of the Canadian Dairy and Food Industry Supply Association for 40 years.

-- Support for three Ontario Graduate Scholarships in fine art for five years, funded by a $75,000 donation from the Musagates Fund of the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation. The first recipients are Martin Golland, Adam Brown and Jennifer Norton.

-- Julie May (Goode) Whittaker Travel Scholarship. The first recipient is geography master’s student Shirley Norton.
Ron Scriver Memorial Bursary. Established by family, friends and colleagues in memory of Ron Scriver, a U of G graduate who worked at the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre for 32 years.

About BMO
Since its founding in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group has supported the principles of community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility to the communities it serves. In 2005, BMO Financial Group contributed $29.5 million in corporate donations, sponsorships and events in Canada, supporting thousands of communities, charities and not-for-profit organizations across the country.

BMO, JoAnne Hayes, Toronto,, 416 867-3996
U of G, Kathryn Elton, Alumni Affairs and Development,, 519 824-4120, Ext. 56679

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519 824- 4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.

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