SAIT receives $30-million donation from Calgary philanthropist David Bissett

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WATCH: The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology received its largest individual donation in its history from a local philanthropist who doesn’t want Alberta to fall behind. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, the money will benefit both students and businesses. – Dec 3, 2019

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has received a $30-million donation from a well-known Calgary philanthropist, marking the largest monetary gift the institution has ever seen.

Officials with SAIT made the announcement on Tuesday, saying the money would help set a new course for the future.

“We are honoured David Bissett has chosen SAIT,” SAIT President and CEO Dr. David Ross said. “This significant contribution will enable SAIT to support our students and our industry partners to develop the mindset, adaptability and knowledge to use and create technology and drive us forward.”

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Bissett, a member of the Order of Canada, has donated to SAIT before; in 2014 he gifted $5 million to help establish the Bissett Bursary Program, which provides full tuition annually to high school graduates who demonstrate financial need.

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“Whether it is investment management, oil and gas or agriculture, the advances in technology are breathtaking,” Bissett said.

“If we are not fully competitive in these skills in the global economy we are doomed to be a nation falling behind and will not be able to afford the standard of living and social services which we have enjoyed.”

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SAIT was established in 1916 and serves about 50,000 students annually.