Ron Joyce donates $10 million to McMaster Burlington campus


Philanthropist and businessman Ron Joyce has donated $10 million to help launch McMaster University's Burlington campus.

“This wonderful donation quite simply reinforces Ron Joyce's belief in our University,” said Peter George, president of McMaster University, in making the announcement this morning. “We're excited about having a McMaster campus in Burlington, and Ron's generosity is allowing us to move forward and make it a reality.”

Joyce said he was initially drawn to the project by former Burlington mayor Rob MacIsaac.

“It was Rob's vision that drew me in,” says Joyce. “He did a lot of good things for Burlington, and he was convinced that this project would be great for the city. His excitement for the campus got me excited, too. It's going to create a distinctive presence for McMaster, and I know it will be a tremendous benefit to the Burlington community.”

Joyce's donation is the first for the project, which will house graduate and executive leadership programs from the DeGroote School of Business, and a community family practice teaching unit of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

Joyce, who chairs The Campaign for McMaster University, said his donation was a leadership gift to create momentum for the project.

The University's Board of Governors endorsed the project last week, and Burlington council approved the campus in principle in April. The City of Burlington is providing $10 million toward the project, and is also providing a downtown site for the campus. Classes at the McMaster University campus in Burlington are expected to begin September 2009.

One of Joyce's previous gifts, a $10-million donation made in 2005 to establish the Ronald V. Joyce Stadium at the University, was the largest private donation to a Canadian university athletics program.