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Irving Oil announces major gift in support of Dalhousie University

Posted by Media Centre on August 21, 2017 in News, Engineering

 $2.2-million donation will directly support the Faculty of Engineering and the IDEA Project

(Halifax, NS) - Dalhousie University welcomed Irving Oil to campus today to share the announcement of a $2.2-million gift to the Faculty of Engineering. $1.5 million of the donation will directly support the university’s IDEA Project (Innovation and Design in Engineering and Architecture Project), which is a $64-million investment into Dalhousie’s Engineering and Architecture Sexton campus. The gift from Irving Oil will add advanced technology and design labs, state-of-the-art engineering facilities, and modern teaching and learning spaces for students.

“Today we are celebrating Irving Oil as a dedicated partner in providing opportunities for our engineering students,” said Dr. Richard Florizone, President of Dalhousie University. “Irving Oil is known for their commitment to strengthening Atlantic Canada by investing in people, building stronger communities where they operate and supporting higher education. Thanks to this generous contribution, our students and our region will benefit on many levels.”

“With this gift, we are happy to support the Faculty of Engineering at Dalhousie University, knowing we look to Dalhousie and other Atlantic Canadian universities for our best employees at Irving Oil,” said Arthur Irving, Chairman of Irving Oil. “Atlantic Canada’s success depends on the quality and skill of our youth – and we know Dalhousie is up to the challenge.”    

In recognition of this generous gift, the new state-of-the-art, 450-seat auditorium within the IDEA Project campus will be named the Irving Oil Auditorium. The funding will also be used to provide more than $700,000 in scholarships for engineering students at Dalhousie over the next 10 years and scholarship recipients will be offered co-op opportunities with Irving Oil. The company also sponsored the Engineering student orientation in 2016, reinforcing the importance of safety in the engineering field, and is pleased to take part in the event again this fall.

“We’re proud to partner with Dalhousie on this project and excited about what it means to many engineering students and future leaders here in Atlantic Canada,” said Sarah Irving, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer.  

 “We’re committed to driving growth and prosperity in Atlantic Canada and that means investing in people and education in order to grow our young talent and future leaders right here at home,” says Ian Whitcomb, President of Irving Oil. “Dalhousie is an important source of young graduates for our company, and we’re delighted to be supporting the creation of this centre of excellence.”

“Working together, Irving Oil and the Faculty of Engineering will accomplish more than either can achieve alone,” says Dr. Florizone. “Creating new opportunities for students to excel, for our graduates to remain in Atlantic Canada, and for economic growth in the region.”

“Irving Oil and Dalhousie University share a common vision: we’re both proud Atlantic Canadian entities, always growing and moving forward,” said Mark Sherman, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Irving Oil. “That’s what makes the IDEA Campaign a perfect fit for us.”

The IDEA Project (Innovation and Design in Engineering and Architecture Project) is made possible through the generous support of the Government of Canada, the matching support of private donors such as Irving Oil, students and industry. Construction is underway with a targeted completion date of spring 2018.


About Dalhousie University:

Dalhousie University is Atlantic Canada’s leading research-intensive university. Through teaching and learning, research, and service, we drive the region’s intellectual, social and economic development and make a lasting impact on our world. Our successes are built on partnerships — through discovering shared interests, securing support and increasing our shared connections. Located in the heart of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with an Agricultural Campus in Truro/Bible Hill, Dalhousie is a truly national and international university, with more than half of our nearly 19,000 students coming from outside of the province. Our 6,000 faculty and staff foster a diverse, purpose-driven community, one that spans 13 faculties and conducts approximately $140 million in research each year.

About Irving Oil:

Irving Oil was founded in 1924 and is an international refining and marketing company with a history of long-term partnerships and relationships. Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers in 2016, Irving Oil operates Canada’s largest refinery, in Saint John, New Brunswick, which is located 65 miles north of the US border and has reached production rates in excess of 320,000 barrels per day. It also operates Ireland’s only refinery, located at Whitegate in southern Ireland, with a capacity of 75,000 barrels per day. With over 900 fueling locations, operations from ten distribution terminals, and a delivery fleet of tractor-trailers, Irving Oil serves wholesale, commercial, and retail customers in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and New England. Learn more at or

Media Contacts:

Janet Bryson
Dalhousie University

Sam Robinson
Irving Oil


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