University of Calgary to Build Mathison Hall, Expanding Haskayne School of Business with $20-million Gift

Expansion project moves forward thanks to the generosity of Ronald P. Mathison

An appreciative University of Calgary audience applauds as Ronald P. Mathison’s donation is announced on Friday, helping to fund a second building for the Haskayne Business School. Photo by Kelly Hofer, for the Haskayne School of Business
By Haskayne School of Business Staff

When it opens in 2022, Mathison Hall will offer business students a state-of-the-art learning environment, provide much-needed classroom space at the University of Calgary, and propel the Haskayne School of Business to the next level.

Today, the university announced it has received a gift of $20 million from Calgary business leader Ronald P. Mathison, chairman of MATCO Investments Ltd., to help fund a second building for the business school. Construction of Mathison Hall is scheduled to begin adjacent to Scurfield Hall in 2019.

Ronald P. Mathison, University of Calgary donor and Calgary business leader. Photo by Marnie Burkhart, Jazhart Studios

“My late father, Ken Mathison, and Richard Haskayne were lifelong friends. This was the genesis of me wanting to make this gift,” says Mathison. “Treating people with respect, acting ethically, holding high standards and always trying to do the right thing were shared values of my dad and Dick Haskayne. Today, the business school that bears Mr. Haskayne’s name has come to embody these and other important ideals. So, my own belief in what the school stands for, and that very warm, lifetime friendship, offer a certain symmetry to now building a Mathison Hall at the Haskayne School of Business.”

Dick Haskayne echoes these sentiments. “I’ve known Ron since he was a young kid — his family and mine literally lived next to each other in the small town of Gleichen,” Haskayne says. “His father, Ken, was like a brother to me. Ron’s a terrific guy. I’ve admired him and how he does business based on the principles his father taught him about ethics and how to treat customers, some of which his father learned in my family’s butcher shop in Gleichen.”

Mathison Hall will provide a technology-rich, innovative learning environment and will facilitate meaningful networking opportunities across the university and the community. The 10,000-square-metre building will offer additional study space, a 300-seat auditorium, diverse learning environments to enable new ways of teaching and learning, a student success centre, and dedicated space for activities focused on entrepreneurial thinking.

The 12,000-square-metre Scurfield Hall has been the home of the Haskayne School of Business since it opened in 1986. Since then, enrolment in business programs has tripled, and now only one sixth of the courses take place in the building.

“When our students enter Mathison Hall at the start of the 2022-2023 school year, they will launch a new era that will set the Haskayne School of Business apart,” says Dr. Jim Dewald, PhD, Haskayne dean. “The long wait will be worth it as our students, staff and faculty will have wonderful new space purpose-built for unparalleled learning opportunities, exceptional student services and meaningful community engagement.”

“The Haskayne School of Business is the community’s business school,” said Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, PhD, University of Calgary president. “So many people have lent their support to ensure that we offer unparalleled business education, hands-on learning experiences, and world-class research and innovation that reflect Calgary as an important corporate hub of Canada.

“This gift reflects the excitement the community has for the university, and we are deeply grateful to Ron for his continued generosity and support for our students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

In 2012, Mathison gave a $10-million gift to establish the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education in the Cumming School of Medicine at UCalgary. He is also a member of the Haskayne Founders’ Circle and started the Ronald P. Mathison MBA Fellowship in 2002.

Mathison’s gift is part of the university’s ongoing fundraising campaign, Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, which is targeting $1.3 billion in support by 2020. The campaign recently crossed the billion-dollar milestone and is helping the university invest in new student experiences, innovation in teaching and learning, and fostering deeper connections with the community.