By Jessica Robinson, Editor-in-Chief
It was announced this morning that David Harquail and his family are donating $10 million to Laurentian’s Department of Earth Sciences and Mineral Exploration Research Centre. It has thus been unanimously decided by the University’s Board of Governors that the department will be renamed the Harquail School of Earth Sciences in the family’s honour. The money will be put towards new research chairs, lab equipment and supplies, technical support and scholarships for international PhD students, as well as the immediate recruitment of a Research Chair in Exploration Targeting and other support. The Harquail family supports various charities, hospitals, educational and artistic endeavours through their Midas Touch Foundation; this is the foundation’s largest monetary commitment to date.
And that’s not the only multimillion dollar donation of the day: at a press conference later this afternoon, Laurentian will announce that it is receiving millions in federal government funding to create a research program at the school’s Mineral Exploration Research Centre.
“Laurentian University is already a global leader in mineral exploration research,” explained David Harquail in a statement for the news release published this morning. “This is a step towards making Laurentian the leading center for mineral exploration research in the world.” In a similar vein, Dr. Douglas Tinkham, the Director of the Harquail School of Earth Sciences stated that this donation will further the university’s commitment to the longer term science that could lead to new discoveries, especially vital because the mining industry is currently so focused on the near term.
Laurentian President and Vice-Chancellor Dominic Giroux commented: “This investment from the Harquail family is an exceptional gesture of support for our faculty, staff and students in Earth Sciences, and we believe it is also a testament to the momentum and growing national recognition of our university.” In fact, this is the 4th school to be named in recognition of eight-figure donations to Laurentian University programs in the last 5 years . (The others include the Bharti School of Engineering, the Goodman School of Mines, and the McEwen School of Architecture, the latter only just renamed this past summer following a similar donation of $10 million from former Goldcorp CEO Rob McEwen.)
A celebration of the Harquail family’s generosity will be held in the coming weeks.