The Ivey School of Business at Western University received a $3.5-million donation from BMO Financial Group to help launch a new leadership program being made available to all undergraduate students.
Sharon Hodgson, the Dean of Ivey Business School, announced that the large gift to the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership will not only create a cross-campus certificate program for all undergrads at Western, it will strengthen its relationships with locally owned businesses.
"I believe that BMO’s purpose to 'Boldly Grow the Good in business and life' is in perfect alignment with Ivey’s purpose and the Institute's objectives," said Hodgson. "I am delighted to see the multipronged way this gift is having impact; Ivey students benefit from more access to Leadership Under Fire, Western students benefit from cross-campus programming, and we are also supporting small- and medium-sized businesses in the community."
The school said its new certificate program will continue with case-based learning scenarios, but will feature more materials across the public, private, and non-profit sectors, while helping students develop an appreciation for their existing strengths and allow them opportunities for growth and development of their leadership character.
Funding from BMO will also help support the creation of a 75-student cohort of third and fourth year undergrads, the institute said it has plans to grow the program over time as well.
"BMO is proud to support the Ivey Business School and to help drive new approaches to cross-faculty student programming and experiential learning," said BMO Chief HR Officer Mona Malone, "BMO's purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life is focused on driving progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future and inclusive society. Through this partnership, we are investing in the development of future leaders, supporting local businesses, and empowering both to navigate future challenges with resilience."
On top of the new certificate program, Ivey said it will immediately double the number of students who can take its award-winning course, Leadership Under Fire: Developing Leader Character.
Finally, part of the funding support create a Purpose-Driven Leadership Playbook, a digital resource that will allow smaller to medium sized business owners and managers to benefit from the school's work by learning how to "elevate their organizational purpose by leveraging the principles of character leadership."
To date, BMO and its entities have donated more than $9.5 million to Western and Ivey, including support of the Richard Ivey Building, naming the 640-seat BMO Financial Group Auditorium, and recently, investing in Ivey’s Women in Asset Management program.