The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba bears a new name this week, thanks to a transformative $20 million investment from visionary philanthropists Gerry and Barb Price.
A large crowd of faculty, students, staff, donors, alumni and employees from Price Industries gathered in the Engineering and Information Technology Complex Atrium to honour Dr. Gerry Price [BSc(ME)/70, MSc/72, LLD(Hon)/17] and Barbara Price [BHEc/69, CertEd/70] for their donation to the Faculty of Engineering. This gift builds on a history of giving from these inspirational alumni, bringing their total giving in the campaign to $23.34 million.
“Here at UM, we call Gerry and Barb our friends because their contributions show a deeper commitment to our students and our University community,” says President Dr. David Barnard, who highlighted previous support from the Price family and their company Price Industries which directly supports undergraduate students, capital upgrades, and empowering Indigenous and female graduate engineering students.
Today’s transformative donation will create seven endowed faculty member positions over ten years, greatly enhancing the capacity of the undergraduate engineering program. In recognition of their generosity, the Faculty of Engineering will be named the Price Faculty of Engineering.
During the celebration, a host of speakers paid tribute to the Price family, including Chancellor Anne Mahon, President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. David Barnard, Vice-President (External) John Kearsey, and Dean of the Price Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Jonathan Beddoes.
“It is an honour to recognize the continuing passionate support of Dr. Gerry Price and his family by renaming the Faculty to the Price Faculty of Engineering,” said Dean Beddoes. “The transformational gift announced today will position the Price Faculty of Engineering to offer outstanding engineering programs through the 2020s and beyond for the benefit of not just our students, but also, through our graduates and research, to the future well-being and prosperity of Manitoba and Canada.”
The official new name of the Faculty was announced at the event by Chancellor Mahon who said: “Everything that Gerry and Barb have helped build here at UM has, and will continue to ensure, our grads thrive as citizens of our world.”
Laura Stoyko, 112th Senior Stick of the University of Manitoba Engineering Society presented the Price family with a watercolour rendering of the EITC by School of Art alumna Jillian Owen and a framed thank you letter from Engineering students.
A previous gift of $1.25 million to the UM Front and Centre campaign from the Price family and Price Industries in 2016 expanded the facilities in the Price Faculty of Engineering and created the Price Engineering Innovation and Prototype Centre, a recently opened space for engineering design teams to work on prototypes and design challenges. Their donation also provides bursaries for Indigenous students in the Engineering Access Program, a program designed to provide Indigenous students with greater access to university studies leading to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering at UM.
The Price family and their company have provided generously to directly support students including architecture, music and business students. They established the Price Scholarships in Engineering for undergraduate students in 2018 with a gift of $1 million. The Price Graduate Scholarships for Women in Engineering were established through a $600,000 gift from the Price family and Price Industries. Every year for the next five years, ten female engineering graduate students will receive $12,000 each to support their studies and further their research in the field of engineering. This past November, the first ten students received their awards.
About Dr. Gerry Price
Dr. Gerry Price was born in Winnipeg, and holds a Bachelor of Science (1970) and Master of Science (1972) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba, as well as a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.
As Chairman and CEO of Price Industries, Dr. Price has grown the company from 250 employees to more than 3,500 employees with 19 sales offices and 13 manufacturing sites across North America. Price Industries is now a leader in air distribution equipment and technology.
The founding principles of the company have remained unchanged, and reflect a deep commitment not only to customer service but to research, development and innovation. Despite branching out to sites across the globe, Dr. Price has kept his headquarters in Winnipeg, Canada.
Dr. Price is the Chairman and CEO of Price Industries, APEL Extrusions, AROW Global, and Twa Panel Systems. He is a past and present board member of many community and charitable organizations.
Always passionate about supporting the University of Manitoba, Dr. Price served as Chair of the Manufacturing Division of fundraising for the Engineering & Information Technology Complex, was a founder and Board Member of the Friends of Engineering (Manitoba) Inc., the Partners Program in the Faculty of Architecture and The Associates of the I.H. Asper School of Business. Gerry is a member of the President’s Campaign Team for the Front and Centre campaign.
In 2011, Dr. Gerry and Mrs. Barb Price were honoured as the Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year by the Manitoba Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for their generous support of initiatives in the areas of health care, arts and culture, and education.