When Peter Godsoe (BSc 1961 VIC) retired from Scotiabank after nearly four decades of service, the bank honoured the former chairman and CEO with a $1-million donation to the University of Toronto.
For Godsoe, directing the gift toward his alma mater was a natural choice. “The university has been significant in both my – and my wife’s – career,” says Godsoe. “It is where I was introduced to applied mathematics, which laid the foundation for my career in finance and international banking. U of T is also where my wife, Shelagh (BA 1962 UC, BLS 1963), worked as a librarian for more than 25 years.”
The gift has been matched through the province’s Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund, creating a $2-million endowment to establish the Peter Godsoe/Scotiabank Scholarship in International Finance and the Peter Godsoe/Scotiabank Scholarship in Financial Engineering. Both scholarships are for MBA students at U of T’s Joseph L. Rotman School of Management.
“I am very impressed with Rotman and its strength in international finance and financial engineering,” says Godsoe. “These subjects are what I call the heart and soul of banking and they are areas of banking that interest me most.”
In 10 years, under Godsoe’s leadership, Scotiabank grew to become Canada’s second-largest bank and expanded its international reach significantly. Godsoe says training business leaders who understand the global market is vital to the national economy. “I believe Canadians are capable of competing at anything, anywhere in the world,” he says. “I hope that these scholarships help to attract the type of people who are interested in making an impact globally.”
Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School, agrees. “This generous gift from Scotiabank will have a lasting impact on Canadian business,” he says. “It will help Rotman produce world-class leaders and is a fitting tribute to Mr. Godsoe’s legacy and impact on Canadian and international banking and finance.”