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Western University receives $5-million from Linamar to support women in unique engineering-business program

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. Western University 2017

A unique Western University program combining engineering and business studies is getting a major boost thanks to a multimillion-dollar investment aimed at supporting women in the program.

READ MORE: 9 Western University research projects receive over $3M in federal funding

The gift from Linamar Corporation will support up to 10 students each year in the Western Engineering and Ivey Business School dual-degree program.

“We will also be offering them a job for the summers of years 3 and 4 and also a job offer on graduation,” Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz told AM980.

“We really love the combination of helping them fund their education, encouraging more women into the dual-degree, and also having a job at the end we think is a great aspect of the program as well.”

The Linamar Scholarships for Women in Engineering and Business is the result of $5-million gift from the Guelph-based company, Hasenfratz, her husband Ed Newton, and Linamar founder Frank Hasenfratz.

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“I feel like it’s really going to move the dial in terms of women in engineering and women in leadership and women in business, which means a lot to me,” Hasenfratz added.

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Through the dual-degree program, students can get two degrees in just five years.

READ MORE: Women in STEM disproportionately placed in non-professional jobs: TD report

“This generous gift enables Western to support some of our best female students,” said Western President Amit Chakma.

“It provides an unparalleled opportunity for academic growth and offers these future leaders an experience that, thanks to Linamar and the Hasenfratz and Newton families, will give them a stepping-stone to rewarding careers.”

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Linda Hasenfratz is a Western alumna and three of her four children attend Western – including two daughters in the Western Engineering and Ivey Business School dual-degree program.

Frank Hasenfratz, a Hungarian immigrant, started Linamar in 1964 from the basement of his home. The auto-parts manufacturer now employs more than 25,000 people in 15 counties. He received an honorary degree from Western in 2016 and is also a member of the Order of Canada.