We officially opened the Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building last week, designed to bring industry into the classroom and to stimulate interdisciplinary research in fields ranging from business ethics and big data to global enterprise and real estate and infrastructure.

Attached to Schulich’s existing complex, the facility is named in honour of longtime Schulich supporters Rob and Cheryl McEwen, who have donated $8 million to the University toward this expansion of Schulich’s facilities.

Rob and Cheryl McEwen were recognized for their transformational donation during the official opening event, and shared a few words with the more than 150 people in attendance. “A building makes a statement and this architecture communicates that statement very, very loudly and clearly,” said Rob McEwen. “Here we are in a building that’s saying that this School is innovative, it’s imaginative, it is responsible to the environment, it is showing the future.”

Cheryl McEwen spoke to the importance of research, saying, “We hope that this building will be the hub of Canada’s future business leaders, to enable Canada to reach its full potential.”

Also speaking to the importance of investing in research was guest David Lametti, parliamentary secretary to the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Lametti, an academic on sabbatical, said it’s important to recognize the leadership, partnerships and philanthropy that drives research forward.

Guest speakers also included Rhonda Lenton, York University president and vice-chancellor; Dezsö J. Horváth, dean of the Schulich School of Business; Paul Tsaparis, chair of York University’s Board of Governors; and the event’s master of ceremonies, James Prince, president of the Schulich Graduate Business Council.

“This new hub for academic and business collaboration will offer students tremendous new research and experiential education opportunities, so they are better equipped for the challenges of a rapidly changing world,” said President Lenton.

“The Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building will play an important role in helping to keep our school at the forefront of management education and research,” said Dean Horváth.

The new building will accommodate academic program growth, modern research facilities and space for study and socializing. Its distinctive design, by Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, makes it one of the most environmentally sustainable and socially responsible academic buildings in North America.