David Harquail announced this week that his family foundation is making a C$10 million investment to support Laurentian University’s Department of Earth Sciences and its Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC). The University’s Board of Governors has unanimously decided to honour the Harquail family by renaming the Department of Earth Sciences as the Harquail School of Earth Sciences and associate ongoing MERC efforts with the Harquail name. A celebration of the Harquail family’s generosity will be held in the coming weeks.“Laurentian University is already a global leader in mineral exploration research,” explained David Harquail. “This is a step towards making Laurentian the leading center for mineral exploration research in the world. Laurentian has mining in its DNA with its location next to mines and a cluster of mining related government departments and research agencies on campus. Success will come from the development of new concepts and tools to find the next generation of ore deposits.”An C$8.4 million endowment will be created to support new research chairs, lab equipment and supplies, technical support and scholarships for international PhD students. The balance of C$1.6 million will allow for the immediate recruitment of a Research Chair in Exploration Targeting and other support. “We are immensely grateful to the Harquail family for this transformative gift,” said Dr Douglas Tinkham, Director of the Harquail School of Earth Sciences. “The mining industry’s exploration efforts are at a low ebb and are focused on the near term. The university is committed to the longer term science that could lead to new discoveries. This investment helps us to build the capacity to do that science.”“This research is fundamental because the discovery of ore bodies creates value for all of society,” said Harquail. “Mining companies deliver that value by building and operating the mines. And that value is shared with all levels of government, the First Nations and the overall economy through the multiplier effect. None of this can happen without that initial discovery.”“Canada disproportionately benefits from its entrepreneurial strength in global mineral exploration. Even discoveries outside of Canada contribute to the well-being of Canadians. Canada’s resource entrepreneurs have been among the most generous philanthropists in this country benefiting many universities, hospitals and other institutions,” added Harquail.The Harquail School of Earth Sciences is the fourth school in less than five years renamed in recognition of eight-figure private gifts at Laurentian University from Canadian resource entrepreneurs, following the Bharti School of Engineering, the Goodman School of Mines and the McEwen School of Architecture. “This investment from the Harquail family is an exceptional gesture of support for our faculty, staff and students in Earth Sciences, and we believe it is also a testament to the momentum and growing national recognition of our university,” said Laurentian President and Vice-Chancellor Dominic Giroux.