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U of G Receives Major Gift from BMO

November 20, 2006

Source: University of Guelph

The University of Guelph’s commitment to increasing scholarship support for graduate students received a major boost today, courtesy of a $500,000 gift from the Bank of Montreal (BMO) Financial Group.

The gift will be used to establish an endowment fund that will eventually support five annual graduate scholarships, valued at $15,000 each. They will be distributed as part of the provincial Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) and Ontario Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology (OGSST) programs.

"Through its generous support, BMO is making a lifelong investment in the education of skilful and creative graduates who will become the future leaders of this country," said University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee.

Tony Comper, president and chief executive officer of BMO Financial Group, said: "BMO has a longstanding and overarching commitment to learning. We are pleased to support the University of Guelph and to have our name associated with such a relevant and important endowment fund."

The first beneficiary of the BMO fund is Lorna Deeth, a master’s student in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Summerlee said the University is dedicated to giving students access to an exceptional learning experience, and has been working diligently to increase the number of graduate students as per the recommendations of the provincial government. A key component of that effort is the availability of financial aid, he said.

Currently, OGS/OGSST programs operate on a two-to-one matching system, with the government providing $10,000 towards each scholarship and universities providing $5,000. Guelph is awarded about 120 such scholarships a year.

"Private support is vital to our ability to fund our share of each award, and gifts such as this one from BMO make it possible for the University to leverage the government funding," Summerlee said.

About BMO
Since its founding in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group has supported the principles of community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility to the communities it serves. In 2005, BMO Financial Group contributed $29.5 million in corporate donations, sponsorships and events in Canada, supporting thousands of communities, charities and not-for-profit organizations across the country.

BMO, JoAnne Hayes, Toronto,, 416 867-3996
U of G, Kathryn Elton, Alumni Affairs and Development,, 519 824-4120, Ext. 56679

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519 824- 4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.



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