University of Calgary

University of Calgary receives $5-million gift

UToday HomeFebruary 15, 2013

By Amy Eagleson

Hunter Family donation creates new Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. (L to R: Doug Hunter, Diane Hunter, Interim Dean of the Haskayne School of Business Jim Dewald, Chancellor Jim Dinning and President Elizabeth Cannon). Photo by Riley BrandtHunter Family donation creates new Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. (L to R: Doug Hunter, Diane Hunter, Interim Dean of the Haskayne School of Business Jim Dewald, Chancellor Jim Dinning and President Elizabeth Cannon). Photo by Riley BrandtCalgary enterpreneur Doug Hunter learned about the rigours of business the hard way and wants to make it easier for today’s students. This is why he and his wife Diane announced Feb.14 they are giving a $5-million donation to the Haskayne School of Business to launch the new Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will shape a new generation of entrepreneurs who will help Calgary continue to grow and prosper. The centre will offer academic and research programs focused on entrepreneurship and innovation, and provide support for professional networks for students and new entrepreneurs. Starting this fall, the centre will offer a new course that involves a business plan competition that every second-year student will be required to complete.

“This gift from the Hunter family will greatly enrich the student experience at the University of Calgary and we want to thank them for their generous support,” says Elizabeth Cannon, University of Calgary president and vice-chancellor. “The Hunters’ gift is an important investment in our efforts to attract and support a diverse group of students and provide them with an engaging, hands-on learning experience.”

This significant contribution to the University of Calgary is motivated by the Hunter family’s passion to promote the necessary skills and attitudes to excel in business.

“When we were introduced to the idea of an innovative approach to teaching entrepreneurship, Diane and I were immediately excited. We saw the opportunity to be part of a new and different approach to an old subject. This is a program that is itself entrepreneurial,” says Doug Hunter.

Doug is a successful entrepreneur who spent most of his career in the private equity business while Diane, a double alumna, has played an active role in Calgary’s civic politics. Their lifelong commitment to entrepreneurialism and philanthropy has been passed down to their children and grandchildren through a family charitable foundation that started in 1984. Now, the Hunters want to invest in the business futures of students, while advancing and strengthening the entrepreneurial spirit already abundant in Calgary.

“The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will showcase an inclusive, action-biased and practical methodology for applying entrepreneurial thinking in small and large organizations. Through this generous donation, we will inspire students to develop skills in opportunity recognition and extend Calgary’s famous can-do spirit,” says Jim Dewald, interim dean of the Haskayne School of Business.