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New school at CMU now open for business

Redekop family gave millions for business school

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The folks at Canadian Mennonite University can now take care of even more business for generations to come.


That’s because the Tuxedo-based university recently launched its new Redekop School of Business at its north campus at 500 Shaftesbury Blvd.


The school was made possible by a multi-million dollar contribution from the Redekop family of Fraser Valley, B.C.


Two brothers, John and Peter Redekop, their nephew James, and extended family, have pledged a minimum of $6.5 million for the school.    


CMU’s president, Gerald Gerbrandt, said he is "deeply gratified" by the gift, noting 24 members of the extended family attended the recent launch.


"This gives us a huge boost. We’ve been planning on expanding our business program for years, so this will help us implement the plan and vision we’ve had all along," Gerbrandt said.


The Fort Garry resident said the new school will help increase the faculty’s number of core programs and allow the institution to "provide generous financial assistance to the students in the programs."


It will also help increase the school’s profile in the world of international business, he said.


CMU business student, Josh Ewert, 21, who spoke at the recent opening ceremony, said he hopes the business school will grow to represent the core values imparted by CMU.


"Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to participate in a discussion about the forthcoming school of business. What stood out for me was the portrayal of CMU as an institution that gives students more than just marketable degrees behind their names," Ewert said.


"The school is not built on a brand, one that can rise and fall in popularity; it is built on the ideals of the Mennonite faith. CMU is perfectly positioned to grant degrees because of the variety of experiences that it creates.


"This extension to the business program has excited me from its conception. The only regret I have is not delaying my post-secondary studies, so that I could have started fresh in the program," he added.


Craig Martin, assistant professor of business and organizational administration, is also excited — as he will soon no longer be the only full-time faculty instructor on staff.


The school is the process of hiring another full-time business instructor, who is slated to start in July 2012.


"This will allow us to fill some of the gaps," said Martin, who lives in Charleswood. "It’s also good because it will add more variety for both the staff and students."


Gerbrandt called the story of the original Redekops a "fascinating one."


Jakob and Maria Redekop, and their four children, fled to Canada in 1947 from the former Soviet Union following the Second World War.


They spent four months in rural Manitoba, before settling in B.C., but clearly never forget their Mennonite roots, Gerbrandt said.


More programming details will be available after Nov. 1 by visiting www.cmu.ca.

simon.fuller@canstarnews.com

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