Announcing the Jack Leitch Award in Entrepreneurial Thinking

Jack Leitch
Jack Leitch

Jack Leitch leaves an enduring legacy – not only because of his many great achievements and accolades, but because of his great courage and generosity. A beloved leader, colleague, friend, and family man, Jack’s 99 remarkable years of life light the path for future generations, both today and for years to come.

“My father had core values that he followed through his family and business life. Empathy, honesty, and courage. Empathy for others and what they were experiencing; honesty to stand up for what is right; and courage to act on his convictions,” shared daughter Jean Vander Ploeg when asked about his father’s enduring legacy.

Jack’s impact in the Schulich and York community took root during the School’s founding year, when he made his first donation toward the Founders Fund in 1965. Jack’s closest friend, Dr. James Gillies, was the Founding Dean of the School and their lifelong friendship spanned almost four decades. The impact of that first gift and the countless more that came after it, has remained a force for good inspiring generations, new and old, to always aspire for and do bigger things.

To celebrate Jack Leitch’s generosity and the indelible mark that he left, the Jack Leitch Award in Entrepreneurial Thinking has been established at Schulich through a generous bequest of $250,000. The award will recognize and empower incoming MBA students who embody Jack’s entrepreneurial spirit and acumen, while also demonstrating experience in innovation, product design, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

The inaugural recipient has been announced at Schulich Startup Night 17 on May 26, 2022. Congratulations Joyce Khanuja on being the 2021-2022 recipient. The second recipient will be announced in the 2022/2023 academic year. For more information about the award, please contact