York U receives $5-million gift from Ignat Kaneff for Lassonde School of Engineering


TORONTO, May 9, 2013 – York University President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri today announced a $5 million donation from Ignat Kaneff, Chairman and CEO of the Kaneff Group of Companies, in support of the university’s Lassonde School of Engineering. Including past donations, the Kaneff family has now committed almost $8 million to provide the learning environment of the future for students at York.

“York University is very thankful to Dr. Kaneff for his generous gift to the university for development of the Lassonde School of Engineering,” said York U President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “Dr. Kaneff’s commitment to education that meets the future needs of our students and  our society is consistent with his outstanding contributions over decades as one of Canada’s great builders and philanthropists.”

TImage of donor Ignat Kaneff and York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukrihe research tower at York University has been named the Kaneff Tower in recognition of this commitment to York’s Lassonde School of Engineering, which will open a new building in 2015.

Dr. Kaneff, who came to Canada in 1951 with little education or money, was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by York’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 2010 for his role in building Canadian communities and for his support of access to education.

“People were very good to me when I came to Canada,” said Dr. Kaneff. “If we give young people the tools and education they need, things will be easier for the next generation. Canada needs professionals to ensure it remains competitive internationally, and the Lassonde School of Engineering at York will train people not for one project, but for a lifetime.”

The Lassonde School of Engineering at York University will offer a new type of engineering education.

“Dr. Kaneff’s generosity will help us to educate a new generation of entrepreneurial engineers who, like Iggy, have a social conscience and the passion to achieve their dreams,” said Janusz Kozinski, dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering.

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