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$50-million gift to create ‘leadership’ college at McMaster University

A former McMaster University executive is set to give the institution a multi-million-dollar gift to aid the development of young leaders. McMaster University

A former McMaster University executive, who spent 50 years in public service and private industry, is set to gift the institution $50 million for a leadership and civic engagement college.

The donation from Lynton (Red) Wilson and his foundation will establish the Wilson College of Leadership, a curriculum with a goal of developing young leaders “committed to strengthening our societies,” the university said in a release.

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“There is no model or formula for developing effective leaders, but there is an opportunity to build on the university’s innovation culture, its strong leadership team and faculty and its track record of pioneering new approaches,” Wilson said.

The four-year program is part of the school’s faculties of humanities and social sciences and offers an honours BA in the discipline.

Read more: Self-made businessman and philanthropist Michael G. DeGroote dead at 89

First-year students will live in a new Wilson College residence with an initial cohort projected to begin studies in the fall of 2024.

A portion of the $50 million will also create the Wilson Chair in Leadership and Civic Studies – an entity that will lead a team of researchers and visiting fellows from the public and private sectors.

Wilson, 82, is a economics graduate from McMaster who also served as chancellor from 2007 to 2013, and as a member of the university’s board of governors from 1983 to 1991.

He also has a master’s degree from Cornell University and honorary degrees from seven Canadian universities, including McMaster in 1995.

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