Alumni

Sobey School of Business MBA ranks #8 in the world for sustainability

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The Sobey School of Business is eighth in the world for sustainability, according to the recently released Corporate Knights Better World MBA ranking.

The eight place finish marks the highest ranking yet for the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University. The school attributes its success to the way sustainable development and ethics are deeply embedded in its courses, the strong ethnic and gender diversity of its student and faculty, and the faculty’s extensive research on sustainability themes. Corporate Knights assessed 141 business schools across 25 countries for its rankings.

“Placed as we are here on the east coast of Canada, the impacts of climate change are strongly felt. At the same time, our province is a leader in immigration, and has a deep history in co-operative and alternate business models. We understand how important sustainability must be in business today,” noted Dean Harjeet Bhabra. “We are proud of our faculty’s strengths in international research and ethics, and the growing expertise in social enterprise development at Saint Mary’s, which have helped us achieve this recognition.”

The Sobey MBA program ranked second in Canada, with Schulich, at York University, placing first nationally. Warwick University in Exeter, UK, was ranked first in the world
Corporate Knights introduced two new metrics to this year’s ranking: the gender and racial diversity of graduate business department faculty. Such diversity can influence student perception of what leadership looks like, and means that business schools can model meaningful standards for more diverse corporate boards and management.

According to Corporate Knights, The University of Connecticut's School of Business and the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax led the way on racial diversity with 51 percent of faculty identified as visible minorities.

Participating schools were graded on five indicators: the number of institutes and centres dedicated to sustainable development; the percentage of core courses that integrate sustainable development; faculty research publications and citations on sustainable development themes; and faculty gender and racial diversity.

In 2014, the Sobey school’s faculty unanimously voted to become signatories to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative (PRME). A central part of this commitment is a pledge to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

For Saint Mary’s and the Sobey School, the ranking was helped by research and work conducted through the school’s centres: the Atlantic Research Group on Economics of Immigration, Aging and Diversity, the new International Centre for Co-operative Management, the Centre for Leadership Excellence, the David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services, and the Centre of Excellence in Accounting and Reporting for Co-operatives.

See Corporate Knights' full top 40 here.

Saint Mary’s University celebrates the new Viola Desmond Bursary

African-Nova Scotian students attending Saint Mary’s University will soon have more support available to them as a result of a newly established bursary.

The Viola Desmond Bursary was announced on November 8, the date of Viola’s heroic anti-discrimination action in 1946. The bursary is fully-endowed and will be given out every year to full-time African-Nova Scotian students at Saint Mary’s.

“At Saint Mary’s, community is at the heart of what we do. We are very proud to be part of commemorating Viola Desmond, and to have a financial award named in her honour,” said Dr. Malcolm Butler, Vice-President, Academic and Research. “This award will assist generations of African-Nova Scotian entrepreneurs attending Saint Mary’s on their path to success.”

The initial award amount will mark the year of Viola Desmond’s anti-segregation action, 1946, with students receiving $1,946. While this award is not renewable, it may be awarded to the same student more than once.

While preference for the bursary will be given to students in the Sobey School of Business, the bursary may also be awarded to students in programs featuring entrepreneurship. Preference will also be given to female students from Halifax County. Students must also have a financial need.

This award was established with the permission of the Desmond Family and through the generosity of The Honourable Wilfred P. Moore, Q.C., LL.D., and Ms. Jane Adams Ritcey.

“Viola Desmond has been very good to our city, our province and our country,” said Senator Wilfred Moore. “My family is very pleased to assist Saint Mary’s University in this most noble virtue—the transfer of knowledge. We do so in keeping with the bedrock tradition of Saint Mary’s, offering a hand up.”

Saint Mary's 1977-78 men’s basketball team inducted into NS Sport Hall of Fame

  Members of the Saint Mary’s Huskies 1977-78 Men’s Basketball Team.   In photo: Head Coach Brian Heaney, Assistant Coach Willie Follette, Managers, John Landry and Calvin Smith, Trainer Richard Bishop and the players, Ron Blommers, Bruce Holmes, Tom Kappos, Derrick Lewis, Ross Quackenbush, Roger Tustanoff, Mike Solomon, and Frank White.

Members of the Saint Mary’s Huskies 1977-78 Men’s Basketball Team.

In photo: Head Coach Brian Heaney, Assistant Coach Willie Follette, Managers, John Landry and Calvin Smith, Trainer Richard Bishop and the players, Ron Blommers, Bruce Holmes, Tom Kappos, Derrick Lewis, Ross Quackenbush, Roger Tustanoff, Mike Solomon, and Frank White.

You could not make this stuff up.

It was a packed house with 11,000 fans jammed into the newly-minted Metro Centre in downtown Halifax in 1978. Two Nova Scotia university basketball teams were locked in a pitched battle to win the national championship.

Fans were divided with half cheering for Saint Mary’s Huskies and the other for the Acadia Axemen. Both teams were stacked with talent, spirit and a hunger for victory.

Acadia took the lead early in the game, but Saint Mary’s fought back and defeated their opponents to win the CIAU title 99-91.

On Friday, Nov. 2, the 1977-78 Men’s Basketball Team was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, 40 years after a victory that will go down in history as one of the most exciting university sporting events in Canada.

All but a few of the team members returned to Halifax from all over Canada and the US to receive their honour at the Halifax Convention Centre.

They were presented with their honour by Owen Carrigan, who served as President of Saint Mary’s University that year and Doug Wright, a long-serving member of the Saint Mary’s Sport Hall of Fame Committee.

“It was the greatest game ever played at a college level in Canada,” said Coach Brian Heaney. “That CIAU national title took basketball to another plateau in Canada.”

Even 40 years later, players and fans remember that night. Saint Mary’s was the host team and seeded last. The magic ignited when they defeated the top-ranked Manitoba Bisons (92-81) who were favoured to win the championship. In the next round, they beat the University of Victoria Vikings with a score of 82-79.

That earned them a spot in the final against the Acadia Axemen. It was a grudge match and a showdown of hometown rivals, according to player Rick Plato.

“If you wrote it up for a movie you wouldn’t believe it. We were two power houses, tough, determined, confident skilled and talented,” he said.

With a victory and winning score of 99 points, they set the record for most points scored in a final game. That record was not broken until 2016.

“It was the time of our lives,” remembers player Tom Kappos. “We were a bunch of 18-year old Canadian kids, and this entire stadium was overflowing with people, fans, emotion.”

That game and season didn’t just change varsity basketball in Canada. It changed the lives of certain players too.

“It changed my life after being in the US,” said player Frank White. “People here were warm, welcoming, kind, they treated me with love and respect. Everyone had such a sense of purpose. In our hearts, we knew we were going to win that game.”

Player Ross Quackenbush, who later went on to coach men’s varsity basketball at Saint Mary’s, called that night the highlight of his career. Looking back at pictures, he laughs about the styles of 1978.

“Back then it was the time of short shorts and long hair. Now the shorts are long, and the hair is short.”

Whatever the fashion, that night was all about basketball. Player Ron McFarland received the Most Valuable Player award, finishing with 38 points.

The Saint Mary’s team were victorious in a game that will never be forgotten by either team or the 11,000 fans.

The Saint Mary’s team were: Ron Blommers, John Brown, Bruce Holmes, Derrick Lewis, Tom Kappos, Ron McFarland (MVP) Rick Plato, Ross Quackenbush, Art Screaton, Mike Solomon, Roger Tustanoff, Mark Vickers, and Frank White; (Coaches) Brian Burgess, Brian Heaney, and Willie Follette; (Managers) Hector Corkum, John Landry, Calvin Smith and Allan Wentworth; (Trainer) Richard Bishop; and, (Team Doctor) Dr. David Petrie Sr.

Fence signage offers glimpse into the future The Dauphinee Centre

The Dauphinee Centre is sporting a new look thanks to new fence signage on the build site.

Installed in time for Homecoming, the signage showcases various members of the Saint Mary’s community, acknowledges donors, and helps promote the centre slated to open in time for the 2019 hockey season.

The signage is designed to reflect the fact that centre will make a significant contribution not only to varsity athletics but to the wellness of our entire community, with 50% of its usage capacity dedicated to community groups. SMU varsity athletes Marc Terriault and Siobhan Birch are featured wearing their Huskies gear. Another panel pictures Tyler Naugler, Assistant Coach, Men’s Hockey with his daughter as they walk by the Homburg Centre. The Saint Mary’s student body is represented with a photo of students Mohammad Ashiq, Jesus Hernandez, Jillian Taylor, Ashley Brewster and Sehmat Suri.

Additional panels highlight the Saint Mary’s University branding, and promote the arena name as well as the Pseudio Link and the Barbara Holmes Gathering Centre.

The Dauphinee Centre construction on track

  A rendering of The Dauphinee Centre.

A rendering of The Dauphinee Centre.

Excitement is building as work continues on The Dauphinee Centre, the new arena at Saint Mary’s that will feature an NHL-sized ice surface and accommodate more than 1200 fans.

With the arena design 95% complete and construction progressing well, the $14.8 million facility is on track to open in time for the 2019 hockey season. This fall, neighbours can expect to see the large, precast concrete walls (about 85 pieces in total) go up on the build site. Work is now underway on the foundations to support the walls and on the underground water and electrical services. 

When completed, the centre will feature an upper-level warming room with an attached fan room overlooking the ice surface, a pedway link to the Homburg Centre for Health & Wellness, and men’s and women’s varsity dressing rooms that are equal to the best junior hockey facilities in the country. These enhancements to the project were made possible by a generous gift of $2 million from local entrepreneurs Glen and Nancy Holmes, parents of two current Saint Mary’s students. Glen and Nancy Holmes are the owners of Pseudio, Samuel & Co and Envy.