OTD: INCO grants $2.5 million 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.

Given as part of the first fundraising campaign co-ordinated by the university, which was established two years prior, the donation was considered the single-largest corporate gift to an educational institution in Canada at the time. By November 1963, the school stood short of its goal of $9 million by only $84,000.

According to Laurentian’s website, the new Arts and Humanities building began to take shape in the fall of 1963.

“The building was to house faculty offices, the Extension Division offices, language and psychology labs, seminar rooms, and the bookstore.” It officially opened on Oct. 8, 1964.

1951 NICKEL STAMP

In 1951, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a commemorative five-cent coin featuring a nickel refinery in celebration of 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 mm (opposite corners) and 20.9 mm (opposite sides).

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

RECENT DONATIONS

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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