The University of Manitoba received the largest individual gift in its history Thursday morning: $30 million from the Rady family in honour of Rose and Dr. Maxwell Rady, who came to Winnipeg from Russia more than a century ago.

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This article was published 12/5/2016 (2238 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The University of Manitoba received the largest individual gift in its history Thursday morning: $30 million from the Rady family in honour of Rose and Dr. Maxwell Rady, who came to Winnipeg from Russia more than a century ago.

The family headed by Winnipeg-born, U of M-educated and San Diego-based magnates Evelyn and Ernest Rady made the unprecedented donation through the family's foundation.

The money goes to the Bannatyne campus -- the Faculty of Health Sciences will be renamed the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. Within the faculty, doctors will now graduate from the Max Rady College of Medicine.

The university said the $30 million will be placed in an endowment fund within the ongoing $500 million Front and Centre capital campaign, and will generate about $1.6 million each year for student financial aid, research, and equipment and capital upgrades.

Ernest Rady told the U of M that the family gift was to honour his parents: "They taught me the values of hard work and of giving back. The College of Medicine is where my father got his start and allowed him to make a difference in the lives of so many people here in Manitoba so this College is of particular significance to me and my sisters.

"My father would be very proud. It's hard not to cry, frankly, when I think of the difficulty that my father had getting to freedom, the struggle that he had to achieve the job that he eventually enjoyed so much and the fact now that's going to be proven out by having it named after him. I just feel like crying, if you want to know the truth. It's the most emotional thing. I've had the good fortune in business to at least be moderately successful and had the good fortune to be able to help others along the way. But for my father, this has really extraordinary significance."

His sisters, Majorie and Mindel – both at Thursday’s ceremony – also earned their degrees from the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Maxwell Rady -- born Avraham Radishkevich -- immigrated to Manitoba from Russia in 1893, and changed his name when he arrived in Canada. He worked as the secretary at Talmud Torah School and put himself through medical school at the U of M. He met Rose, a teacher, and they married in 1922.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Today University of Manitoba will received the largest philanthropic gift in its history from Ernest Sylvan Rady.</p>

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Today University of Manitoba will received the largest philanthropic gift in its history from Ernest Sylvan Rady.

After medical school,  Maxwell Rady was one of the first Jewish doctors given admitting privileges at St. Boniface Hospital.

Rose Rady, a tireless volunteer, was the first Jewish woman in Winnipeg who participated actively at the highest leadership levels in non-Jewish causes, U of M officials said.

David Barnard, U of M president, noted the size of Rady gift is unprecedented for the university.

"His generosity, his engagement, his sense of deep attachment to the experiences his father had here, it (the gift) is reinforcing those things and it will have a transformational effect on the Faculty of Health Sciences. It's a very generous gift, it's the biggest gift the university has ever seen from a very generous, thoughtful and caring person," said Barnard.

John Kearsey, University of Manitoba VP External, said some of the Rady money will go directly to U of M students.

"This money will be used to support students and scholarships so students have a better experience as they study here in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. It will be used to drive discovery through research, it will help us create new places and spaces as well so that our faculty, our students and staff can learn and work and thrive in this environment. It's amazing. It's so good for Manitoba.

The $30 million has already been counted in the Front and Centre capital campaign’s last-announced total of $215,294,636, a total the university will update at an event in June.

In January, the NDP government promised to make its previously-announced $150 million contribution in one lump sum, but that promise died with the April 19 provincial election, and is not binding on Premier Brian Pallister’s Conservative government. The Tories have not said anything about how much, and when, they would contribute.

The university has received three eight-figure individual gifts in the past, all of which involved naming rights to faculties.

Media giant Izzy Asper gave a gift of $10 million for the Israel H. Asper School of Business.

Geology grad and Alberta energy magnate Clay Riddell donated $10 million for the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of the Environment, Earth and Resources.

And businessman and philanthropist Marcel A. Desautels gifted $20 million to the Desautels Faculty of Music.

               -- with files from Ashley Prest

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca