By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto: Sikh real estate tycoon Bob Dhillon donated $10 million to the University of Lethbridge in Alberta on Wednesday.
The university has renamed its business school after him. It will henceforth be called the Dhillon School of Business.
Calgary-based Bob (Navneet) Dhillon is the president and CEO of the real estate giant Mainstreet Equity Corporation which he started from the back of his car in the 1980s.
With its assets over $1.5 billion, the company owns over 10,000 apartment units across Canada.
The university said the Dhillon School of Business will drive futuristic learning and focus on new technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies and new growth industries, including artificial intelligence and robotics.
“I’m a first-generation immigrant and I’m very fortunate that I’m in a position to make this contribution. This is my way of giving back to Canada,” said Dhillon whose family hails from Tallewal village near Barnala in Punjab.
Dhillon, who is an alumnus of Bishop Cotton School in Shimla, said: “I am an immigrant and a businessman and I’m extremely thankful for the opportunities I’ve had growing up here in Canada.
“I was very fortunate that the importance of education was drilled into me by my family, my parents, my brother, really everybody around me growing up.”
The Sikh real estate tycoon, who also holds an MBA from the famous Ivey School of Business at Western University, added: “Education is what drives successful global nations and Canada is unique in that there is so much opportunity here.
“The UofL is a world-class university that the world needs to discover.”
University President and Vice Chancellor Mike Mahon said the donation from Dhillon will be transformational for his institution.
“Our university was founded by forward-thinking mavericks…Here we are 50-plus years later and we’re still looking ahead, pushing boundaries and creating an educational experience like no other.
“This gift, this commitment from Dhillon, will help drive us forward.”