Shannon Family Donates $2 Million to Cape Breton University

Earlier today, Cape Breton University announced the single largest donation ever received by the institution. Joe and Ruth Shannon and family have made a $2 million gift to CBU’s Shannon School of Business Cornerstone Campaign.

Joe Shannon makes $2 million gift to CBUMr. Shannon, who has long been a proponent in the power of education and, in particular, the potential of CBU students, is chairing the Cornerstone Campaign. Over the past few months, he has begun to raise funds toward the $12 million project with a fundraising goal to support the $8 million Shannon School of Business building and $4 million for the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies. To date, $9.6 million has been raised through private and government sector commitments, including the $2 million from the Shannon Family.
“It is remarkable that, once again, for the third time Joe Shannon has pledged his time and skills to chair a fundraising campaign at CBU. His commitment is a demonstration of his belief in the institution and the role CBU plays in supporting the youth of Cape Breton,” said Dr. John Harker, President and Vice-Chancellor of Cape Breton University. He added, “The magnitude of this $2 million donation from the Shannon Family will help CBU elevate the level of gifts the institution can solicit, making the University more competitive.”

In June 2011, the University’s Board of Governors unanimously approved a proposal for the construction of a new Shannon School of Business (SSOB) building. This addition to campus will provide students, faculty and staff of the Shannon School of Business with 25,000 square feet of learning space. This prominent building will increase capacity by 500 seats, providing space for the University’s growing number of business students. Case study rooms, enhanced classrooms, boardrooms, modern technology, a student lounge and faculty offices are included in the plans.

The building will be connected to CBU’s soon to open Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (CSEE). The joined space will allow access to outstanding resources for both science and business students with an end goal of fostering innovation and academic excellence.

As a recruitment tool, the Shannon School of Business Building is a demonstration of the University’s ongoing commitment to the learning needs of its students. “Having a building of its own for our business school will help to make the Shannon School of Business attractive to potential students in an increasingly more competitive environment,” commented CBU Dean, Shannon School of Business, John MacKinnon. “Having this building bear the Shannon family name will honour a great supporter and provide a fitting legacy for an outstanding Cape Breton business family.”

Shannon School of Business BuidlingAlso part of the Cornerstone Campaign is the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies. In June 2010, the University announced this Chair named in honour of Canadian corporate icon and friend of CBU, Purdy Crawford. The Purdy Crawford Chair was developed to promote interest among Canada’s Indigenous people in the study of business at the post-secondary level, while undertaking pure and applied research specific to Aboriginal communities. The Chair will focus attention and research efforts on the Membertou Business Model, Unama'ki Partnership Model and national and international comparative analysis.

“On behalf of my family, I am pleased and proud to support the University’s fundraising efforts for the Cornerstone Campaign. The University, with its wonderful track record of Aboriginal programming, can now add business education to it growing list of educational collaboration with Canada’s First Nations peoples,” stated Shannon.

“New infrastructure will make certain that all CBU students, at the local, national and international level, have the best possible facilities. These facilities will ensure that Shannon School of Business students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to enter and contribute to a challenging, diverse business world,” added Shannon. “Calling upon my colleagues and counterparts from the business community and receiving their complete support to join this initiative, signals that the rest of the country knows about the great things that are happening right here in Cape Breton.”