One year of Smith

Nearly 365 days and $50 million later, what has changed in the School of Business?


This Saturday marks one year since Queen’s School of Business took on its Smith label, after Principal Daniel Woolf announced a $50 million endowment on October 1, 2015 in Goodes Hall.

The faculty’s new namesake and donor Stephen J.R. Smith, is the chairman, CEO, and co-founder of First National Financial Corporation, and a  BSc ’72 Queen’s alumnus.

According to a promotional video released by the Smith School of Business shortly after the announcement, the $50 million will be used for “funding new chairs and professorships to help recruit and retain the best faculty” and “significantly increasing the number of MBA scholarships to attract top students.”

These goals were put forth immediately upon the unveiling of Smith, but most of them are still works in progress.

University Communications Specialist Kristyn Wallace confirmed that two thirds of the income from the endowment will be dedicated towards faculty research, with Smith chairs and professorships being annouced later this fall. One third of the income will go towards increasing student scholarships.

More changes were visible on campus shortly following the unveiling, such as the re-branding of Goodes Hall, including the new Smith School of Business sign located outside the building.

As well, the former QSB Magazine was rebranded into Smith Magazine with a new online and print presence.

According to Commerce Society President, Bhavik Vyas, the donation has been “monumental for the business education at Queen’s.” He, as well, noted tangible changes in the School’s branding.

“The physical impact has certainly been felt with new signs, building improvements, and incredible swag giveaways and marketing,” he wrote in an email to The Journal.

The swag he’s referring to are the hundreds of t-shirts that have been handed out to students.

“However, the non-physical impact has also been amazing. The Smith donation has given us a name to unite under and to make prevalent in the business world.”

He spoke to the plans for the future, beyond the first year of planning and marketing.

“In terms of the endowment, it will be heavily utilized to improve post-undergraduate programs in the form of new staff, better facilities, and better course offerings,” he said.

Commerce Society Vice President (Student Affairs) Sara Tyler added that the donation changed the
Commerce experience “by inspiring students to aspire to a level of success where they too can give back in some way to the university and the Smith School of Business.”

Commerce Society Vice President (Operations) René Puerta noted that it was satisfying to know the school has the resources to “maintain its excellence” in coming years.

With the $50 million donation, the University’s yearly endowment amount increased by $11 million from 2014-15.

In the 2015-16 year, endowment funds totaled in at $930.9 million versus the previous year’s $919 million. 


Two thirds of the income will go towards funding faculty research, not creating new faculty positions as stated in a previous version of this article. 



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