Convocation for Schulich MDs pays tribute to benefactor

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

In the introduction of his book, "Get Smarter," Seymour Schulich says that his "current life objective is to be important and helpful in the lives of a lot of young people." On Friday, he'll witness some of the young people he's helped graduate with their Doctor of Medicine degree from the school that bears his name.

The SchulichSchool of Medicine & Dentistry at The University of Western Ontario will hold its convocation ceremony for 132 new doctors at 9:45 a.m., Friday, May 16th at Alumni Hall. At that time, Western will also present Seymour Schulich with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, the first to be given out at a medical convocation.

In 2004, Schulich made a transformational gift of $26 million to Western and the SchulichSchool of Medicine & Dentistry was named in his honor. A prominent Canadian philanthropist, Schulichhas donated more than $220 million to many institutes of higher learning including YorkUniversity, McGillUniversity, the University of Calgary, the University of Toronto, DalhousieUniversity, the University of Nevada and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, as well as Western.

Schulich's unprecedented gift provides generous scholarships for more than 120 medical, medical sciences and dentistry students at Western each year. As one scholarship recipient wrote to his benefactor, "You could have done anything with your money, but you chose to help me." Fifteen of the students in the Meds Class of 2008 received Schulich scholarships worth $20,000 per year for all four years of their undergraduate medical training.

"The future of post secondary education in Canada has been enriched enormously by the generosity of Seymour Schulich," said Western President Paul Davenport. "His support of the SchulichSchool of Medicine & Dentistry has greatly increased the accessibility of medical education here. In their future work as physicians, our medical graduates will in turn touch the lives of hundreds of thousands of others. I very much look forward to presenting an honorary degree to a man I consider a friend and a Canadian visionary."

Schulich Medicine & Dentistry's newest doctors will start their postgraduate training in July with 31 per cent of the class choosing family medicine. Nineteen per cent will do their residency in internal medicine, 14 per cent in surgical fields and the rest in various other specialties.