Media Releases

Historic gift to UofT makes Munk School a world leader in global affairs

April 13, 2010

TORONTO, ON — The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is proud to announce today the launch of the new Munk School of Glob­al Affairs. An unprece­dent­ed gift of $35 mil­lion from Peter and Melanie Munk will dra­mat­i­cal­ly expand UofT’s research capac­i­ty, enable the hir­ing of new fac­ul­ty and dri­ve the expan­sion of new facil­i­ties. This first-tier pro­fes­sion­al school will play a key role in edu­cat­ing Cana­di­ans as glob­al lead­ers. 

The Munk School of Glob­al Affairs sig­nals a new fron­tier of schol­ar­ship in Canada’s high­er edu­ca­tion com­mu­ni­ty. The Munk School posi­tions UofT as a lead­ing play­er in a broad range of sub­jects from water to cyber secu­ri­ty.  The new Munk School will wel­come its first class of stu­dents to the Mas­ters of Glob­al Affairs pro­gram in Sep­tem­ber 2010. In the com­ing years, the school will offer a selec­tive Bach­e­lor of Arts pro­gram and a PhD in the Dynam­ics of Glob­al Change.

Build­ing on the foun­da­tion of the Munk Cen­tre for Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies, this trans­for­ma­tion marks the largest sin­gle indi­vid­ual gift to UofT, bring­ing the Munks’ total finan­cial sup­port for the Uni­ver­si­ty to a remark­able $50.9 mil­lion. “I am hon­oured that Melanie and I could make this gift to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to,” said Peter Munk. “The world is chang­ing. We want to do our part to ensure that Cana­da not only secures its place on the world stage but helps cre­ate the knowl­edge that improves people’s lives.” 

Remark­ing on the impact of the announce­ment Dr. David Nay­lor, Pres­i­dent of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, said: “This is a great day for our Uni­ver­si­ty – and, I believe, a great devel­op­ment for Ontario and for Cana­da.  This excep­tion­al gift means that the new Munk School will sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase the scale of our university’s role in har­ness­ing glob­al oppor­tu­ni­ties, while tack­ling some of the world’s most press­ing chal­lenges.” Pres­i­dent Nay­lor con­tin­ued, say­ing, “As Cana­da reaf­firms its posi­tion as leader on the glob­al stage, the Munks’ extra­or­di­nar­i­ly gen­er­ous gift means that many more of the next gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers will come from Cana­da.” 

The Munk School will offer an unmatched stu­dent expe­ri­ence pro­mot­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for inter­na­tion­al fac­ul­ty and an increased num­ber of stu­dent exchanges. The Uni­ver­si­ty will sup­port this expan­sion through the pro­vi­sion of land and build­ings that will grow the school’s facil­i­ties at the land­mark her­itage build­ing locat­ed at 315 Bloor Street West, the north­ern gate­way to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. The Uni­ver­si­ty will also make room for a sig­nif­i­cant increase in cross-appoint­ed fac­ul­ty. 

The Munks’ gift is in addi­tion to an impor­tant invest­ment of $25 mil­lion made by the Gov­ern­ment of Ontario in its 2008 bud­get. “With­out the vision­ary invest­ment made by the Gov­ern­ment of Ontario in 2008, the Munk School sim­ply would not have the crit­i­cal mass of sup­port nec­es­sary for Toron­to to claim a unique role in the study of glob­al affairs,” Pres­i­dent Nay­lor said. 

“We are proud to sup­port the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs,” said Dal­ton McGuin­ty, Pre­mier of Ontario. “This school attracts the best and the bright­est from around the world.  Their work in under­stand­ing glob­al eco­nom­ic trends and devel­op­ing inno­v­a­tive pol­i­cy ideas sup­ports our Open Ontario plan to cre­ate new oppor­tu­ni­ties for growth and jobs in today’s knowl­edge econ­o­my.” 

“Only 10 years ago a gen­er­ous gift from Peter and Melanie Munk helped cre­ate the Munk Cen­tre for Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies. The Cen­tre has grown, becom­ing Canada’s hub for dis­cov­ery across a broad range of sub­jects,” said Pro­fes­sor Jan­ice Stein, Direc­tor of the Munk School. “Melanie and Peter’s deep com­mit­ment to edu­cat­ing Cana­di­ans as glob­al lead­ers has guid­ed the work that we do here at the cen­tre and will inspire gen­er­a­tions of stu­dents and fac­ul­ty at the new Munk School. We are very hon­oured to have the strong sup­port from the province for this excit­ing project.” 

Peter Munk is an inter­na­tion­al entre­pre­neur who has built sev­er­al dynam­ic busi­ness­es from start-up to suc­cess. He is chair­man of Bar­rick Gold which he built into the world’s lead­ing gold pro­duc­er. He and his wife Melanie, through fam­i­ly foun­da­tions, have made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to a num­ber of insti­tu­tions as nation­al and inter­na­tion­al phil­an­thropists. In addi­tion to their his­toric sup­port for the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to and its glob­al pro­grams, Peter and Melanie have been impor­tant con­trib­u­tors to the Toron­to Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal and to the Tech­nion Insti­tute. Through the Aurea Foun­da­tion Peter and Melanie sup­port the Munk Debates – a unique con­tri­bu­tion to the grow­ing and impor­tant dia­logue on inter­na­tion­al and domes­tic socio-cul­tur­al issues. 

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

Estab­lished in 1827, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to today oper­ates in down­town Toron­to, Mis­sis­sauga and Scar­bor­ough, as well as in ten renowned aca­d­e­m­ic hos­pi­tals. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to has assem­bled one of the strongest research and teach­ing fac­ul­ties in North Amer­i­ca, pre­sent­ing top stu­dents at all lev­els with an intel­lec­tu­al envi­ron­ment unmatched in breadth and depth on any oth­er Cana­di­an cam­pus. UofT fac­ul­ty co-author more research arti­cles than their col­leagues at any uni­ver­si­ty in the US or Cana­da oth­er than Har­vard. As a mea­sure of impact, UofT con­sis­tent­ly ranks along­side the top five U.S. uni­ver­si­ties whose dis­cov­er­ies are most often cit­ed by oth­er researchers around the world. UofT fac­ul­ty are also wide­ly rec­og­nized for their teach­ing strengths and com­mit­ment to grad­u­ate super­vi­sion.  


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