$30M for Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
The University of Manitoba received the largest gift in its history on May 12, Manitoba Day.
Ernest and Evelyn Rady, through the Rady Family Foundation, have committed an unprecedented $30 million to support the Faculty of Health Sciences, which will henceforth be known as the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.
The gift was announced in the morning at the College of Medicine’s 2016 Convocation.
“It is my distinct privilege and pleasure to announce today that Dr. Ernest and Mrs. Evelyn Rady are gifting to the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Health Sciences, which includes the Colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Rehabilitation Sciences, $30 million in support of students, research, and places and spaces,” Vice-President (External) John Kearsey told the crowd.
The announcement drew applause and a standing ovation from the entire crowd.
Ernest Rady then gave an emotional speech on the legacy of his parents.
“Perhaps the most important lesson I learned from my parents was the joy of giving back and making a difference,” Ernest Rady [BComm/58, LLB/62] and honorary degree recipient [LLD/15], told the 106 new doctors graduating from the Class of 2016.
“And in that same spirit of wanting to make a difference – a big difference – I decided to make a gift to my alma mater, and specifically to the Faculty of Health Sciences, in honour of my parents, Max and Rose Rady. They taught me the values of hard work, and of giving back. The College of Medicine is where my father got his start and allowed him to make a difference in the lives of so many people here in Manitoba and this College is of particular significance to me and my sisters,” said Ernest. His wife, Evelyn Rady [BA/60, BSW/61, MSW/67], earned three degrees from the U of M showing six degrees between them from U of M. Ernest’s sisters Mindel Olenick [BSc/45] and Marjorie Blankstein [BA/50, LLD/14] also graduated from the U of M.
A treat for the audience then came when Ernest Rady came back to the podium to receive a replica senior stick staff from Robert Schmidt, senior stick for the Manitoba Medical Students’ Association as a tribute to his generosity.
In recognition of this transformative gift—which will bolster teaching, learning and research in health sciences for generations—the University of Manitoba has renamed its health sciences faculty the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences to honour the memory of Rose Rady and Dr. Maxwell Rady [MD/1921]. Further, doctors will now graduate from the Max Rady College of Medicine.
A Russian immigrant to Canada, Max Rady put himself through the University of Manitoba medical school while juggling work and intense coursework, graduating in 1921.
Following Ernest Rady’s remarks, President and Vice-Chancellor David T. Barnard addressed the crowd.
“This announcement speaks to legacy, and to the wondrous miracle of people giving and receiving gifts with care and compassion,” said Barnard at the event. “Our announcement today, for me, represents the perfect match in giving, because it brings full circle a family’s relationship with this institution, this faculty, this college.”
As Dr. Rady took his seat, Convocation resumed and Chancellor Harvey Secter conferred degrees on the 106 new medical graduates, who became doctors following the recitation of the Hippocratic Oath.
The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences offers a broad range of programs in the health professions and basic medical sciences to over 3,100 students. It reflects the health sector’s evolving focus on inter-professional models of care and prepares our students for team-based delivery of patient care. The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences also emphasizes collaboration in inter-disciplinary research, inter-professional education and service delivery to students across the health professions.
In the afternoon, alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends packed the Brodie Atrium for a surprise celebration. Rady, his sisters and specials guests were greeted with a booming “thank you” and thunderous applause from the crowd.
On stage, Rady was thanked by the deans of all five colleges.
“Wow, what a day. Thirty million dollars on Manitoba Day and on the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. An investment of this scale will have a resounding impact throughout the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and all of Manitoba,” said Dr. Beverly O’Connell, dean of the College of Nursing.
Student representatives for the five colleges then thanked Rady and his family and presented him with an official Rady Faculty of Health Sciences lab coat.
“We hope it will remind you of this gift’s life-changing impact on the lives of students, just as it reminds us of the legacy you are creating here,” said Hannah Severa, fourth-year student in the College of Nursing.
Rady gave final heartfelt remarks to the crowd, speaking again on the influence of his parents.
“I hope you will all follow the example of the two people our family is honouring here today, and give back. Make a difference in someone’s life. Do that, and it will make a difference in yours,” said Rady.
President Barnard voiced further appreciation for the lasting impact of the gift and the crowd delivered a final “thank you” cheer to the Rady Family Foundation at the celebration.