Roast of UWindsor chancellor raises $5.3 million toward Centre for Engineering Innovation

University of Windsor chancellor Ed Lumley was a willing target of endless barbs about everything from his hair to his football skills, delivered by former prime ministers, premiers and federal and provincial cabinet ministers during a roast Wednesday, May 30, that helped raise $5.3 million for the engineering building under construction on the UWindsor campus.

During the event, held in Toronto’s Royal York Hotel, president Alan Wildeman announced that the 300,000 square-foot facility will be named the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation. The new $112-million home for the Faculty of Engineering will be a world-class hub for innovation when it opens this fall.

The largest contribution announced during the event was a $2.5 million gift from BMO Financial Group to fund the BMO Collaborative Learning Forum within the new facility. This 350-seat flexible classroom will feature state-of-the-art audio and video technology that will set a new benchmark for the teaching and learning experience.

“BMO is proud to support a strong and vibrant future for the University of Windsor,” said Tom Milroy, chief executive officer of BMO Capital Markets. “Ed Lumley has made a remarkable contribution to both the public and private sectors throughout his career, and we’re thrilled to see his name honoured with this important new facility. We hope that the BMO Collaborative Learning Forum, located in the building named for Ed, is worthy of his vision for the university.”

Details of other corporate and personal donations pledged at the event will be announced in the days and months ahead.

Dr. Wildeman said, “Ed played a vital role in bringing the Centre for Engineering Innovation to life. I thank BMO Capital Markets, and all of the donors and friends who joined in this great evening of celebration. They are all valued partners, along with our provincial and federal governments, in helping us shape the future of innovation in Canada. It is an honour to us and a tribute to Ed’s friends and family that his name will be on the building.”

Peter Mansbridge, host of CBC’s news program The National, was the master of ceremonies for the event that saw over 500 in attendance, representing Canada’s top politicians, business leaders and friends and alumni of the University of Windsor.

“It’s a great honour to have my name attached to this important new facility at the University of Windsor,” said Lumley. “I’m proud to be closely associated with two institutions – the University and BMO – that have joined with others to ensure the long-term strength and vitality of this essential centre of innovation. This is indeed a great day for Windsor.”

Sandra Pupatello, director of business development and global markets for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, former Windsor West MPP, and the former Minister of Economic Development and Trade, was the chair for the event.

“The engineering school was a big part of my work as an MPP, so to now assist in raising funds for it through a roast of our Chancellor seems very appropriate,” she said. “This dinner allows us to poke some fun at Ed, while raising important donors and new relationships in the Toronto market. I hope this is just the beginning of corporate Canada getting to know the gem of southwestern Ontario – the University of Windsor.”

Ed Lumley was born in Windsor and graduated from Assumption University of Windsor in 1961. He has served as a Member of Parliament and as a Minister of the Crown in several portfolios including Industry, International Trade, and Science & Technology. His career has also included board directorships at BMO Nesbitt Burns, Magna International, Bell Canada Enterprises, Canadian National Railway and Daimler Chrysler. Lumley has served as the University of Windsor’s chancellor since 2006.

For more information about the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation, including a virtual tour and construction progress photos, please visit:

Ed Lumley with Sandra Pupatello and an oversized caricature of himself.

Wearing his heart on his sleeve: Ed Lumley poses with a caricature depicting his hometown pride and with Sandra Pupatello, chair of the event organizing committee.

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