Sauder School of Business mourns loss of friend and supporter Bruce R. Birmingham


With much regret, the Sauder School of Business shares the news of the July 2 passing of Bruce R. Birmingham, one of the school’s most generous supporters and friends. Bruce Birmingham was a graduate of UBC’s MBA program in 1971 and an honorary fellow of the Sauder School of Business. Birmingham became the namesake of The Bruce R. Birmingham Commerce Undergraduate Centre for the key role he played in realizing the construction of this major new facility, which opened on the UBC campus in January 2010.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of our great friend and supporter, Bruce Birmingham,” said Sauder Dean Daniel F. Muzyka. “His contributions to the School have been immense. Not only was he instrumental in helping us achieve our goal of building a new learning environment to meet the needs of future business leaders, he has also served as an active member of our Faculty Advisory Board, where his ideas and energy were integral. His role with Sauder has been profound and he will be greatly missed.”

A man of vision, Birmingham understood the need to create facilities that attract the best and brightest students and set them on a course for success. His 2006 gift of $2 million, along with a co-investment from the University of British Columbia, served as a major catalyst in Sauder’s campaign to build a facility that reflects the innovation and excellence of the Bachelor of Commerce program. In 2010 he gave a further $1 million to the School to ensure the successful completion of the building project.

Birmingham credited his experience at the university with creating the strong foundation on which he built his career, first in Scotiabank’s international arm and then as the bank’s president, a position he held from 1995 until his retirement in 2002.

Giving his time and money to an extensive list of causes, he was also a key supporter of Wellspring, The Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, Credit Valley Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Wheelchair Tennis and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Bruce Birmingham will be profoundly missed by his wife Betty, children Jennifer and Jeffery (Joann), grandchildren Jonathan and Jason, sister Susan Lohnes (Bill), extended family and friends.

The family will receive friends at the Glen Oaks Memorial Chapel & Reception Centre, 3164 Ninth Line (at Dundas/403), Oakville, 905257-8822, on Thursday, July 8, 2010 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. A celebration of Bruce's life will follow in the chapel at 11 a.m. with reception. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Toronto General Hospital, Transplant Unit,