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Posted December 5 2011


York U receives single largest donation for Environmental Studies Awards from HSBC Bank Canada

York U receives single largest donation for Environmental Studies Awards from HSBC Bank Canada

TORONTO – Dec 1, 2011, York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and Barbara Rahder, dean of York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES), announced a $1M donation from HSBC Bank Canada – the single largest corporate endowment supporting Environmental Studies Awards in Canada.

“This is a great day for York University, students, research and the environment,” says Shoukri. “With this single largest corporate gift to undergraduate environmental studies students in Canada, HSBC Bank Canada’s commitment creates a new, one-of-a-kind full tuition environmental scholarship, truly transforming environmental studies here at York and in Canada.”

The $1M donation from HSBC Bank Canada, to be paid over five years, will create the permanently endowed HSBC Bank Canada Environmental Studies Awards. The donation also triggers a $1M matching investment from the Ontario Trust for Student Support Program, creating a $2M permanent endowment for undergraduate environmental studies students at York.

“HSBC believes that education is a fundamental building block for communities, which is why we fund scholarships and bursaries at postsecondary institutions across Canada – including right here at York University,” says Linda Seymour, executive vice-president, commercial banking and regional president, central and eastern Canada, HSBC Bank Canada. “We are very pleased that the HSBC Bank Canada Environmental Studies Awards will support more than 15 environmental studies students each year, allowing them to focus on their research, studies and contribution to the environment.”

The awards, equivalent to one year’s tuition, will be given to third- and fourth-year bachelor of environmental studies students who demonstrate academic achievement, community service and are in financial need.

“This is a transformational investment to York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies,” says Rahder. “These scholarships enable students to focus on their research, studies and contribution to the environment, lifting the stress of cost of going to university.”

Several dozen students, faculty and staff attended the announcement held at York’s Keele campus. In addition to highlighting key projects and research currently taking place within the Faculty of Environmental Studies, students also shared their thoughts on the potential impact of these awards.

“As a student, tuition and other costs associated with a university education are always top of mind,” says Mike Zhang, a fourth-year student majoring in urban sustainability. “The new HSBC award will help relieve students like me from this financial worry so we can focus on our studies, take advantage of valuable internships and even come up with next big idea to address environmental challenges”

With the announcement, HSBC Bank Canada has donated close to $2M to York University over the past two decades. Previous donations have created six endowed scholarship funds at York University – which have provided awards to 41 students to date.

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