Doug and Sandra Bergeron expand investment in York University to $10-million

Image of York University President Mamdouh Shoukri, Doug Bergeron and his wife Sandra Bergeron. and Janusz Kozinski, Dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering,

York University President Mamdouh Shoukri (left) announced today a donation of $10 million from alumnus Doug Bergeron and his wife Sandra Bergeron (centre). Janusz Kozinski (right), Dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering, said the donation will be used for construction of an innovative new building named the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, which will be complete next summer.

New building to be named the Bergeron Centre for Engineering ExcellenceToronto, ON, September 29, 2014 – York University today announced that Doug and Sandra Bergeron have increased their support of the Lassonde School of Engineering to a record-breaking $10-million.

The donation from Doug Bergeron, who graduated from York University with a degree in Computer Science, and his wife Sandra is the largest ever by an alumnus.

“We are extremely grateful to Doug and Sandra Bergeron for this tremendous commitment, which will help to shape York University’s future,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “This gift is particularly special to York because it will be used to encourage the type of entrepreneurial spirit that Doug, one of our own graduates, has demonstrated so often as a business leader.”

Doug and Sandra Bergeron – both Silicon Valley entrepreneurs – previously committed $2-million to create the Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology program (known as BEST) at York University in 2012.

The new gift will go towards the Lassonde School of Engineering’s brand new home at York University, opening in summer 2015.

Speaking at today’s ceremony at his alma mater, Mr. Bergeron, founder and CEO of Opus Global, said: “We want Canada’s most promising engineers and entrepreneurs to thrive, to innovate, and to eventually change the world.

“This bold new home for engineering at York University defies conventional wisdom and gives students the opportunity to learn in ways that were unthinkable before the dawn of the information age.”

In recognition of this exceptional and continued support from the Bergeron family, now totalling $10-million, the School’s new home will be named the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence.

The $90-million Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence won’t offer your typical engineering school experience. The space has been designed to “flip the classroom” so that students will watch lectures online at home or in a café, and come to campus for active learning sessions with professors, classmates and mentors.

“Doug and Sandra are savvy investors. Their decision to invest $10-million in the Lassonde School of Engineering is a terrific endorsement of what we are doing, which is quite simply to transform engineering education,” said Janusz Kozinski, Founding Dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering.

“With Doug and Sandra behind us as our partners, we know we can achieve anything. This support will give our students the opportunity to explore their passions and gain new perspectives in a home that’s completely different to any engineering school ever built in Canada,” he added.

York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York’s 11 faculties and 28 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni.


Media Contact: Joanne Rider, York University: 416-736-5593,


  1. Images

Portrait images of Doug and Sandra Bergeron, images of today’s announcement at York University and images of the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence are available on request.

  1. Doug Bergeron

Doug Bergeron is the founder and CEO of Opus Global and Executive Chairman of Hiperos. He is a 23-year financial technology industry veteran. In 2001, he led the acquisition of VeriFone from Hewlett-Packard in a transaction valued at $50M. In 2002, GTCR partnered with Doug and embarked upon a strategy to aggressively grow VeriFone into a multinational company operating in over 100 countries with an enterprise value of more than $5 billion. Doug holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from York University in Toronto and a Masters of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In 2013, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) from York University. Doug is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a five-time delegate to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and has been a frequent guest on CNBC and Fox Business. He is married to Sandra and is the father of five children.

  1. Sandra Bergeron

Mrs. Sandra Bergeron is one of the best known and highly respected women of technology in Silicon Valley having nearly 20 years of experience in the technology industry, with particular expertise in the security market. From 2004 until 2012, Mrs. Bergeron was a venture partner at Trident Capital, Inc., a venture capital firm. She currently serves on the board of directors of F5 Networks Inc., a publicly traded developer and provider of application delivery services; Qualys, Inc., a publicly traded provider of cloud security and compliance solutions; Sophos, Inc., a privately held provider of IT security and data protection products; and TraceSecurity, a privately held provider of cloud-based security solutions and IT governance, risk, and compliance management solutions, where she also serves as chairman. Mrs. Bergeron holds an M.B.A. from Xavier University in Cincinnati and a B.B.A. (cum laude) from Georgia State University, where she was named to the Hall of Fame at the J. Mack Robinson School of Business.

  1. Lassonde School of Engineering

Solving our greatest challenges takes more than technical talent alone. The world needs engineers with passion and perspective – or as we call them Renaissance Engineers™. Lassonde School of Engineering students: *Think in big systems not little silos *Design with people in mind *Understand real world consequences. Established in 2012, the Lassonde School of Engineering is a highly-ambitious $250-million academic start-up at York University. The Lassonde School of Engineering currently offers 12 undergraduate programs with student numbers set to expand to 2,000 over the next five years. The School’s new $90-million home named the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence – with zero lecture theatres – opens in summer 2015.