McGill School of Environment to be named for cranberry, agri-food entrepreneur

(Julie Sapsford/Supplied)

McGill’s School of Environment will be renamed the Bieler School of Environment following an endowment gift of $15 million honouring Marc Bieler.

Bieler graduated from McGill’s agriculture diploma program in 1958 and received a bachelor’s degree in 1964. His career as an agri-food entrepreneur spanned several different industries, including cattle, apples, and maple syrup. He is also recognized as single-handedly building the Quebec cranberry industry.

Marc Bieler at his cranberry farm in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec. (CNW Group/McGill University)

Bieler has always had a profound attachment to the land and a deep respect for the natural environment, and, through this endowment, he aims to advance environmental research and scholarship at McGill University.

The gift is comprised of an initial cash investment, as well as future commitments from Bieler and his estate for the next 25 years, to ensure a steady resource stream for the newly renamed school.

“I would like to thank Marc and Marie Bieler for this exceptional gift and for their continued support of McGill,” says Suzanne Fortier, principal of McGill University.

“Environmental sustainability is one of the great challenges of our time, and McGill’s students, researchers and administrators are committed to playing a leading role in addressing this challenge from a variety of approaches. With this transformative gift, the Bieler School of Environment will be well positioned to translate new knowledge into solutions that will have a real and lasting impact on our world for generations to come,” she says.

The endowment is the largest ever from a graduate of McGill and will provide immediate and long-term support of initiatives and projects built around three pillars: students and academic programming, interdisciplinary research, and engagement and experiential learning. The Bieler School of Environment is a joint initiative between 18 jointly-appointed faculty members, and 53 associate members who are based in the faculties of agricultural and environmental sciences, arts, engineering, law, and science.

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