BentallGreenOak Establishes $250,000 Scholarship Program in Support of Diversity
BentallGreenOak (BGO), a global real estate investment management advisor, has established a new Schulich scholarship to enable pathways for Black, Indigenous and female students to study and pursue a career in the commercial real estate industry. The Gary Whitelaw Strength in Diversity Award commits $250,000 over ten years in an annually awarded scholarship, and includes the consideration for a paid 12-month internship at BGO following graduation.
The scholarship is named after BGO’s former CEO, Gary Whitelaw, who will actively oversee the performance of the program and provide mentorship throughout its duration. Every year, $25,000 will be awarded to a Black, Indigenous or female student enrolled in Schulich’s Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure Program or to a 2nd-year MBA student specializing in real estate. Annual adjudication of the scholarship, one of the largest at Schulich, will be completed by the Schulich Financial Aid Office.
“Our mission towards a more equitable and inclusive future rests on the strong foundation that Gary Whitelaw helped build over his more than two decades of leadership. This scholarship represents a continuation of this work, and we are looking forward to supporting Gary in his efforts to enable opportunities for young, diverse talent to bring strength and progress to our industry,” said Sonny Kalsi, CEO of BentallGreenOak.
“Schulich is grateful for the support provided by BentallGreenOak,” said Detlev Zwick, Interim Dean of the Schulich School of Business. “BGO shares our School’s commitment to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive business community, and the Gary Whitelaw Strength in Diversity Award will help further our goal of providing increased funding in support of under-represented students. What is especially valuable about the BGO scholarship is the fact that, in addition to generous financial support, it removes additional barriers by providing students with the possibility to gain vital industry experience and networking opportunities.”
Both York University and BGO are signatories to the BlackNorth Initiative’s pledge, which commits both firms to developing and advancing Black people. “This scholarship demonstrates both access and inclusion for those in the under-represented BIPOC community,” said Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, Executive Director of the BlackNorth Initiative. “Supporting under-represented students to fully participate in their program of study without financial barriers creates a more equitable, diverse future for all.”
The scholarship launches this year, with the first awardee to be named in Fall 2021. To learn more, please visit here.