OTD: Inco grants $2.5M to Laurentian University

On today’s date in 1962, the International Nickel Company (Inco) donated $2.5 million to Sudbury, Ont.’s Laurentian University for construction of its new campus.

Donated during the first fundraising campaign co-ordinated by the young university, which was only established two years prior, it was the single-largest corporate gift to an educational institution in Canada at the time.

By November 1963, the school stood only $84,000 short of its $9-million goal.

The new Arts and Humanities building began to take shape in autumn 1963 and “was to house faculty offices, the Extension Division offices, language and psychology labs, seminar rooms, and the bookstore,” according to Laurentian’s website. The building officially opened in October 1964.


In 1951, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a five-cent commemorative circulation coin featuring a nickel refinery to mark the 200th anniversary of the metal’s discovery by Swedish chemist Axel Cronstedt.

The coin has a weight of 4.54 grams and a diameter of 21.3 millimetres (opposite corners) and 20.9 millimetres (opposite sides).

Canada is among the world’s top producers of nickel—second only to Russia.


More recently, in 2008, Vale Inco (as it was then known) donated $4.2 million for the Living with Lakes Centre as part of Laurentian University’s Next 50 Fundraising Campaign, which was the biggest campaign in its history.

In 2006, Inco also donated $300,000 to study the feasibility of the 30,000 square foot structure meeting Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards—the strictest in the LEED classification series.

“I am a graduate of Laurentian University myself and this is a good chance to give back to the institution that gave so much to me,” said Scott McDonald, Vale Inco’s executive president of human resources, in 2008.

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