Peter Munk (BASc 1952, LLD 1995) has donated an additional $5 million to U of T’s Munk Centre for International Studies, as it seeks to expand its role both at home and abroad.
University Professor Janice Gross Stein, director of the Munk Centre, says the endowment will allow the facility to create new programs, such as internships abroad at non-governmental and other organizations, and extend its reach into the international community.
“This groundbreaking gift from the Peter Munk Foundation allows us to expand our role as a unique gathering place for scholars and policy experts who create knowledge and solutions for real-world problems,” she says.
A key strategy is to enhance the centre’s digital presence, so it becomes the world’s best source for expert opinion on Canada’s world view, says Stein. The new web presence will include an interactive space where the centre’s students and faculty can engage in discussions about global issues with other students and faculty around the world.
Munk’s initial $6.5-million gift in 1997 helped establish the centre in Devonshire House at Trinity College. Now it is home to 36 international studies and research programs and has earned a reputation for excellence, public engagement and innovative partnerships. “The Munk Centre for International Studies is a leading Canadian institution on the world stage and as such I am pleased to see it supports my vision of creating more Canadian global champions,” says Munk, founder and chairman of Barrick Gold, an international mining company.
At a ceremony announcing the gift, Munk – who came to Canada from Hungary – expressed gratitude to the country and to U of T for enabling him to start a new life. “U of T took me in when I could hardly speak the language,” he said. “It made me feel at home in this country.”
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