CIBC executive invests $1 million in new chair at McMaster


[img_inline align=”right” src=””]Hamilton July 7, 2000 — Canadian bank executive Wayne C. Fox is putting his money where his alma mater is.

The vice-chairman of CIBC and 1973 MBA graduate of McMaster University is making a personal investment of $1 million for the establishment of a chair in business innovation in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.

The first holder of the new Wayne C. Fox Chair in Business Innovation has not yet been named. However, the title will be held for the first five years by a business professor and researcher with expertise in e-commerce business management and innovation. The chairholder will play a key role in McMaster University's plans to enhance and expand its already existing strengths in this new and rapidly growing technological field.

“This very generous personal gift from Wayne Fox speaks volumes to his belief in and commitment to a McMaster education. Wayne is a shining example of the benefits of a McMaster MBA and an outstanding McMaster alumnus. We are proud to call him our own,” says University President Peter George. “In giving to both his alma mater and to the Canadian business community, he is leading by example. His contribution will provide greater understanding and knowledge of the many ways in which the business world can maximize opportunities created by new technology.”

“As a Canadian, I believe very strongly that we can't afford to randomly starve and feed our education institutions. We have to step forward with the offer of a new and enduring partnership,” says Fox. “This donation is my way of giving back to an institution that has played an important role in my life and that will play as large a role in the lives of future students — our future leaders. The business school's focus on e-commerce management is a good fit for me, both personally and professionally.”

McMaster is the first university in Ontario to establish a chair with a focus on e-commerce management. Vishwanath Baba, dean of the School of Business, says the chair is the first of several planned initiatives within the School of Business aimed at establishing McMaster as a world and national leader in e-commerce management. “This chair, combined with other plans to create an E-Commerce Research Centre, will establish McMaster as the premier e-commerce centre in Canada and the world,” says Baba.

The chairholder will interact with a network of academics and researchers associated with the E-Commerce Research Centre, and will work to strengthen relations with business, government and industry. He/she will also play an influential role in focusing the educational and research pursuits of both undergraduate and graduate students specializing in e-commerce. A goal of the school is to increase its PhD enrolment in this area.

Specific areas of study that may be pursued under the new chair include issues of trust relating to global e-commerce, the development of new software programs, and assisting businesses in making the transition to the world of e-commerce. Research conducted will have direct applications to business.

McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Business is one of the first Canadian schools to implement a graduate-level e-commerce program. It has also developed a strong research program in e-commerce under the direction of Norm Archer, professor of management science & information systems.

Wayne Fox has been a strong supporter of McMaster and its business school. He currently serves on the University's Board of Governors and played a pivotal role in the establishment of the School's new Educational Trading Centre. In addition to serving as vice-chairman of CIBC, Wayne Fox is also president of CIBC World Markets.

Photo, left to right: Vishwanath Baba, Isabel Fox, Wayne Fox