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Campus news: in brief

Linamar donates $1 million to Laurier

Linamar Corporation recently announced that it is donating $1 million to the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. The gift will support the accounting program in the Lazaridis School and establish the Linamar Centre for Accounting Education.

Linamar Corporation, which started as a one-man machine shop in the basement of founder Frank Hasenfratz, today is a $4.2-billion firm with more than 19,500 employees in 48 manufacturing locations located around the world. Linamar’s donation will fund a fellowship and scholarships to support and encourage accounting faculty and students.

The fellowship will support a professor who is pursuing research in accounting. The fellow will also be an instructor, educating students in the theoretical nuances and practical skills of the accounting field. The Linamar scholarships will be granted annually to students who demonstrate leadership skills and strong academic performance.

Laurier appoints CN fellow in supply chain management

Professor Michael Haughton has been named the inaugural CN Fellow in Supply Chain Management within the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. In this new role, Haughton will foster outreach, teaching, curriculum development and research in supply chain management. He will also serve as a consultant to CN on current issues, enabling closer partnership on research activities and trends between CN, researchers and students.

The CN Fellowship is a three-year appointment and was made possible by a generous donation from CN. In March 2015, CN announced a $500,000 donation to support research and education programs in Laurier’s Centre for Supply Chain Management.

Alumni Association donates $750,000

The Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association (WLUAA) recently donated $750,000 to enhance programs, services and scholarships for Laurier students. This donation brings WLUAA’s total contribution to Laurier’s current fundraising campaign to $1 million.

The gift will be divided equally between three priority areas: mental health initiatives, social innovation and social entrepreneurship, and student financial support. The Alumni Association, which is comprised of over 92,000 graduates, has a longstanding history of philanthropy and mentorship. In total, WLUAA has contributed more than $2.25 million to support Laurier’s capital projects and student scholarships, with nearly $1 million-worth of donations occurring since 2009.

Michael Lee-Chin accepts second term as Laurier chancellor

Michael Lee-Chin has been appointed to a second four-year term as the chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University. A renowned investor, businessman and philanthropist, Lee-Chin has served as chancellor since 2011 and is the eighth person to occupy the role since the university became a public institution in 1973.

Born in Port Antonio, Jamaica, Lee-Chin came to Canada to study civil engineering at McMaster University on a scholarship. After graduation, he became a financial advisor and, at the age of 32, borrowed money to purchase stock in an investment firm. He has since become one of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs and generous philanthropists. Today, Lee-Chin is chairman of Portland Holdings Inc., a privately held investment company that manages public and private equity and has a direct ownership interest in a collection of diversified businesses operating in sectors that include telecommunications, financial services media, tourism, health care and waste management.

Lynn Thomson wins 2015 Edna Staebler Award

Lynn Thomson has won the 2015 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for Birding with Yeats: A Memoir (House of Anansi Press).

Birding With Yeats recounts Thomson’s efforts to support her son, Yeats, a solitary young man who has trouble finding his way in the world. She gamely embraces his passion for bird-watching, which leads them across the country and as far away as the Galapagos Islands, which she describes in evocative detail. Along the way, Thomson rediscovers the solace that can be found in the natural world. As much about the bond between a mother and a son as it is about bird-watching, Birding With Yeats is an elegantly written, engaging memoir.

“Birding With Yeats is an exquisitely written first book,” said Bruce Gillespie, an award juror and professor in the Digital Media and Journalism program at Laurier’s Brantford campus. “Thomson’s writing makes you want to read the book as slowly as possible, so as to appreciate fully each finely crafted sentence and keen-eyed detail.”

In addition to Birding with Yeats: A Memoir, the shortlist for the 2015 Edna Staebler Award also included: Writing with Grace: A Journey Beyond Down Syndrome by Judy McFarlane (Douglas & McIntyre) and Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents by Mark Sakamoto (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.).

Established and endowed by writer and award-winning journalist Edna Staebler in 1991, the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction is administered by Wilfrid Laurier University, the only university in Canada to bestow a nationally recognized literary award. The $10,000 award encourages and recognizes Canadian writers for a first or second work of creative non-fiction that includes a Canadian locale and/or significance.

Laurier launches BA in Policing

Laurier has launched a unique program, targeted specifically at working or retired law enforcement officers. The university’s new Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Policing — which will host its first cohort in January of 2016 — will be offered entirely online. To qualify for this interdisciplinary program, applicants must have at least one year of professional work experience in policing.

The fully online nature of the program, combined with the fact that admission is restricted to officers with a minimum of twelve months of on-the-job experience, make it unlike any other policing program found in Canada.

Input from these consultations helped shape the topics that are covered in the program, which include leadership, communication, diversity, ethics and building resilience. The program offerings — including such courses as Mental Health, Addiction and Crime; Media, Social Media and Crime; and Diversity and Inclusion within the Force — provide officers with content that is readily applicable in their daily work lives. Each course in the Policing BA program is six weeks long, with six hours per week of course work.

Transfer credits will be offered for previous courses completed at community college, university or via police colleges or academies, allowing officers to enter the program having already earned up to half of their required 20 credits. By completing two to three courses per term, officers can earn their degrees in three to four years.

Questions regarding the program can be sent to For more information on the program, visit

LinkedIn study ranks Laurier No. 1 in volunteerism

Wilfrid Laurier University has the highest proportion of students and alumni with volunteer experience compared to other universities worldwide, according to LinkedIn. LinkedIn analyzed the 10 million professionals around the world who added “volunteer and causes” to their LinkedIn profiles; when they looked at where these professionals attended university, Laurier ranked number one.

The business-oriented social networking service added the “volunteer and causes” section to their profile options three years ago. It has become a popular feature, growing from 3 million last year to more than 10 million professionals listing their volunteer work and highlighting the organizations they support. According to the LinkedIn blog announcing the results, the popularity of the feature indicates how closely volunteerism is tied to one’s professional identity.

The first-place ranking reflects Laurier’s focus on integrated and engaged learning and the school’s philosophy of ‘inspiring lives of leadership and purpose,’ which encourages students to measure success through academic excellence as well as the quality of the lives they lead and those they inspire.

In 2004, Laurier introduced the Co-Curricular Record (CCR) to its students. Since then, over 13,000 Laurier students have created a CCR, and the number continues to grow each year, with more than 3,000 Laurier students updating their CCR in the 2014-2015 academic year. Since its inception, the activities, groups, clubs, associations, events and programs that students can choose from has grown from 210 to nearly 350, representing a significant spectrum of opportunities for student involvement at Laurier.