Schulich Community Pays Tribute to Dr. James Gillies
On the evening of April 19th, over 200 Schulich alumni, faculty, students and staff gathered at the Keele Campus for a special celebration of the life for the Founding Dean of the business school, Dr. James Gillies, who passed away on Dec. 13, 2015 at the age of 91.
Growing up in Ontario, the former Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration at UCLA was recruited back home in 1965 by York’s first President Murray Ross to build the University’s business school. Dr. Gillies started the school with a vision, implementing cutting-edge ideas; from a curriculum that covered public, private and non-profit sectors, a part-time MBA and developing the 601 project. “He put in place the grounding for the school,” said Dean Dezso J. Horvath in the Globe and Mail, whom Dr. Gillies mentored decades ago. “He was a man who never thought small. He always thought big.”
The ceremony was hosted by Professor and Academic Director of the Real Estate and Infrastructure program James McKellar and featured some of Dr. Gillies closest colleagues, friends and family who shared personal memories, highlighting the many sides of a man who touched so many people.
“The Tribute touched many alumni, members of the first graduating class, as well as founding faculty, staff and students,” McKellar said. “James Gillies was a close friend and wonderful man who infused so many of us with his intellect, humour, storytelling and passion for life.”
A member of the Order of Canada, Dr. Gillies is immortalized at Schulich – from his bronze bust in the CIBC Marketplace to a nearby campus street named after him. But most importantly, it is his heart and soul which still exists in the culture and pulse of the Schulich community.
To make a contribution in honour of Dr. Gillies, please consider supporting The James Gillies Award, an endowed fund that annually recognizes academic achievement and community leadership. It will be awarded to a continuing MBA or IMBA student at the Schulich. All contributors will receive a copy of Dr. Gillies’ book From Vision to Reality. To contribute, please visit: www.supportschulich.ca/jamesgillies