The McEwen School of Architecture

Dear members of the University community / Boozhoo / Aanii / Kwe kwe,

Today in downtown Sudbury, we had the pleasure of announcing that Rob and Cheryl McEwen have made a personal $10 million donation toward our award-winning School of Architecture which opened in September 2013.

In recognition of this significant investment, the Board of Governors with the unanimous support of faculty and staff from the School of Architecture, will name the school in the McEwens’ honour.

Dr. Terrance Galvin, founding director of the School of Architecture, is thrilled by the news and said, “Rob will be a great mentor and we are proud to officially be named the McEwen School of Architecture.”

Mr. McEwen has an outstanding reputation as an industry leader and philanthropist. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2007. He is considered a legend in the gold mining industry. He is the Chair and Chief Owner of McEwen Mining Inc., and is also the founder and former Chair and CEO of Goldcorp Inc.—the world’s largest gold producer by market capitalization.

He began his career working as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch, and in 1990 moved into the mining industry. By 1993, he had begun a consolidation of five companies that would take eight years to complete. The resultant company was Goldcorp Inc., which has become a gold mining powerhouse. During Mr. McEwen’s time as CEO, the company’s market capitalization grew from $50 million to over $8 billion, and its share price grew at a compound annual rate of 31%.

Mr. McEwen is a creative and innovative businessman, characteristics that were on full display when he launched the “Goldcorp Challenge” in 2000. He put all of Goldcorp’s proprietary geological data (which went back as far as 1948) into a file and shared it publically in the hopes that outside experts would tell him where to find the rich deposits he and his team had struggled to identify. The challenge offered $575,000 in prizes to the participants with the best methods, and in the end more than 50 previously unidentified sites were mapped, of which 80% yielded significant gold reserves valued at over $6 billion.

Mr. McEwen is a trustee on the board of the XPRIZE Foundation – a non-profit organization that designs and manages public competitions intended to encourage technological developments that could benefit mankind. He is also active with the International Society of Stem Cell Research.

To date, Rob and Cheryl have donated in excess of $50 million to encourage excellence and innovation in healthcare and education.

Mr. McEwen first visited Laurentian in 2014 at the invitation of Peter Crossgrove, a former Laurentian Governor who passed away in June 2015 days after receiving an honorary doctorate from the University. Rob attended the Goodman School of Mines lecture featuring Pierre Lassonde. He had the opportunity to visit the School of Architecture, during which he indicated that he had originally wanted to be an architect. He showed genuine interest in what students, faculty and elders were doing during his visit.

We thank the McEwen family for their very generous support, and share their excitement in changing architecture education globally.

This is the 3rd school naming to honour eight-figure transformative gifts at Laurentian in less than five years.  The Bharti School of Engineering was named in 2011 and the Goodman School of Mines in 2012 It is a testament to the momentum and growing national recognition of our university.

As always, I welcome comments on the blog or any other matter: you can reach me at, or can join the 11,200 people who follow me on FacebookTwitter or Linkedin.

Merci, Thank you, Miigwech.

3 thoughts on “The McEwen School of Architecture

  1. Actually … Mr. McEwen first visited Laurentian University in 2011 shortly after 9/11. Since he was not able to attend the opening of the CFI funded CIMTEC Virtual Reality Centre for security reasons, he made a special trip later.
    The outcome was that MIRARCO then provided a portable VR facility for Goldcorp during the 2012 CIM AGM in Vancouver. This complemented the 2010 “Goldcorp Challenge” and was a huge success as Rob McEwen and his team was able to demonstrate to investors the amazing value of the “Challenge” and the ore body at its Redlake operations . As a consequence, he commissioned a VR facility at the mine in Redlake, which MMIRARCO built under the leadership of A. Dasys (now Objectivity in Sudbury). As a consequence of these successes, MIRARCO subsequently established similar facilities in Timmins, in China, the USA and in Chile.

  2. Feel so privileged that my son Tarun Shenoy should have an opportunity to study in this School. The minds and hearts of the faculty in Laurentian oops! the newly christened McEwan School of Architecture is something we have experienced at a personal level.
    Thank you Mr. & Mrs. McEwan for this vote of trust. You’ve invested in a sustainable future! One of the key values of the school of architecture under Dr. Terrance Galvin is sustainable and eco-sensitive design. Mindful architecture. May this vision and dream be fulfilled for all mankind.

  3. Question: How is this $10,000,000 to be used? Are there conditions-terms of reference applied by either donor or university to its employment? Library? Physical Plant? Faculty Chair or other Endowment? RSVP
    other Endowment

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