The mechanics of generosity
When the current Engineering & Information Technology Campus (EITC) was under construction, Gerry Price stepped forward with a generous offer: he would supply all the ventilation equipment required for the project. He joked that when students looked up, he wanted them to see a Price diffuser.
All humour aside, the gesture was characteristic of Gerry Price and his wife Barb’s decades-long support of the U of M which is far-reaching and large in scale, and a gesture that was replicated last night at a reception in EITC.
There, 66 students were celebrated as the first recipients of the inaugural Price Scholarships in Engineering: the Price family’s latest gift of $1 million.
This is not the first time Price [BSc(ME)/70, MSc/72, LLD(Hon)/17] – a member of the President’s Campaign Team – has given back to his alma mater or to the Front and Centre campaign. In 2016, the Price family and Price Industries donated $1.25 million towards teaching and learning spaces, scholarships and ENGAP, Canada’s most successful engineering access program.
The Price Scholarships in Engineering are the fifth student awards established by the Price family.
Price has said that money has never been his objective in life but rather a by-product of a successful business. He is happy to grow a legacy measured not by wealth but by how many people have benefitted, and it is clear that he and Barb [BHEc/69, CertEd/70] believe the U of M is beneficial – for students and Manitoba.
In addition to providing financial support for engineering education – which Price has said “teaches you work ethic, persistence and a systemic approach to problem solving” – he has also strengthened the link between the U of M and professional engineers, architects, designers and the business community in Manitoba.
He is a founder of Friends of Engineering, the Partners Program in the Faculty of Architecture and the Associates of the Asper School of Business.
In 2011, Gerry and Barb were named Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year by the Manitoba Association of Fundraising Professionals.
“To have watched the global rise of the Price Group of Companies is to know that Gerry Price is one of Manitoba’s most successful innovators,” says Jonathan Beddoes, Dean of Engineering and Dean, Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba. “We are honoured that he has chosen to shape the next generation of innovators here in the Faculty of Engineering through his generous support of our students from the moment they join our faculty through to their final year of education.”