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By TRACY SHERLOCK, Vancouver
 
Ryan and Keith Beedie donated $22 million to Simon Fraser University's business school, marking the university's largest ever donation.
 
The donation is earmarked for the university's business school, which Ryan attended, and which will now be named the Beedie School of Business, SFU said in a news release.
 
Ryan earned his bachelor of business in 1991 at SFU, and his master of business administration in 1993 at the University of B.C. Following that, he joined his family's industrial real estate development firm The Beedie Group, SFU said in a news release.
 
"Under Ryan's direction, the firm has grown to be the largest landlord of industrial space in British Columbia. Recently the Beedie Group has expanded its commercial presence into Southern Alberta, residential homes and Beedie Capital Partners," the news release says.
 
The Beedie Group has more than 7 million square feet in its portfolio.
 
In 2009 Ryan was declared Ernst & Young's Pacific Region Entrepreneur of the Year, and he is married with three children.
 
SFU will use the gift to create an endowment supporting students, professorships and research chairs.
 
"What's great about our donation is that it's an investment in the future," said Ryan Beedie. "The endowment will be there for generations to come, to give students the SFU education that I was fortunate to have had and to enable the university to attract the best teachers and researchers."
 
SFU president Andrew Petter said having such a large gift come from a former student is very special.
 
"I can't imagine a better way for Ryan and his father to recognize the value of education than to give back to the business school to build its program and make it more available to others. That speaks volumes," Petter said.
 
Daniel Shapiro, dean of the newly named Beedie School of Business, says that the gift will help make the school a global thought leader in areas such as innovation and entrepreneurship, Asia Pacific business studies, risk management and sustainability.
 
"The students who graduate from SFU's Beedie School of Business will go on to lead existing Canadian businesses and to create exciting new ones. This gift is really an investment in the economic future of British Columbia and Canada."
 
It's not the first time Ryan has donated to his community.
 
"Ryan helped raise more than $750,000 for the Lion's Gate Hospice and donated $100,000 to the BC Children's Hospital. Working with Arts Umbrella, Ryan has committed more than $5,000 to help provide music education to children in inner-city schools. He recently donated $25,000 to the Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver. An SFU alumnus, he created the Ryan Beedie Annual Community Service Award - a $5,000 bursary granted on the basis academic performance and leadership and/or service at Simon Fraser University to a Faculty of Business Administration student," according to the SFU website.
 
 
 

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Simon Fraser
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