Mike Rocca, Natalie Opare, Alan Wildeman, David Wilson, Jean WrightHelping to cut the ribbon inaugurating the David A. Wilson Commons on Friday were Lancer basketball player Mike Rocca, scholarship recipient Natalie Opare, UWindsor president Alan Wildeman, honoured donor David Wilson, and alumni association president Jean Wright.

David A. Wilson Commons opens to fanfare

Friday’s official opening of the David A. Wilson Commons marks the latest chapter in the University’s campus transformation initiative.

The event was the culmination of a million dollar donation by UWindsor professor emeritus and Faculty of Business alumnus David Wilson (B.Comm 1961), which funded the gathering place at the heart of the University of Windsor’s main campus.

The Wilson Commons replaced a former parking lot with a basketball court, performance stage, meeting and gathering spots. With new landscaping and lighting, situated adjacent to Turtle Island Walk, it is there for the enjoyment of the entire campus community.

Wilson, former chair of the Faculty of Business’s accounting area, has kept close ties with the University since leaving to become chief executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, from which he retired as president and CEO in 2001. For his contributions to the University during and after his teaching years, he received the Clark Award in 2011.

“Dave is a true proponent of his adage, ‘give while you live,’ and we are very happy to have him here on campus today to see the impact of his generosity,” UWindsor president Alan Wildeman said during a ceremony Friday. “The David A. Wilson Commons creates a gathering place for the campus and broader community. Importantly, it provides a unique outdoor setting for students to meet, study, and relax — a very important piece of the student engagement picture.”

In addition to the creation of Wilson Commons, Wilson’s gift supports Odette School of Business scholarships; the Isabel and David Wilson Nursing Scholarships Endowment; and the Marilyn and Sandy Wilson Nursing Scholarship Endowment, which Wilson established following the death of his sister-in-law Marilyn to honour her profession and the importance of the nurse-patient relationship.