York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and Janusz
Kozinski, Dean, Faculty of Science & Engineering, are extremely pleased
to announce that Douglas Bergeron and his wife Sandra Bergeron are
generously donating $2 million to create The BEST (Bergeron
Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology) program at York. The funds will
be used to support entrepreneurial programs and initiatives focused on
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) majors.
York University announces that alumnus Douglas Bergeron and wife Sandra are donating $2 million to create the Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (BEST) to support entrepreneurial programs and initiatives focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) majors. (Photo: Business Wire)
"We are thrilled to be the recipients of $2 million from Doug and Sandra
Bergeron," said Mamdouh Shoukri, York's President and Vice-Chancellor.
"This generous gift will allow York University to create a unique
interdisciplinary program in entrepreneurship that will teach real world
business experience to aspiring student-entrepreneurs, so that they can
contribute to Canada's growing knowledge-based economy." The initial
announcement of the $2 million gift was made at a special event held
this evening celebrating York's Faculty of Science & Engineering at
Toronto's historic Casa Loma. The Bergeron gift will be matched by
funding from other sources and is a part of York's Engineering expansion
"A solid science and technology education is a fundamental stepping
stone to technology entrepreneurship, but often alone not sufficient.
Aspiring technology entrepreneurs also need interdisciplinary exposure
to private equity finance, law, and business plan formulation,"
explained Douglas Bergeron. "York University has embraced this concept
and we hope The BEST will inspire York students to diversify their
practical education so that they will be better prepared for tomorrow."
Sandra Bergeron said, "We are delighted to create 100 fellowships over
the next ten years to support young women and men at York who show great
promise and leadership potential."
"These scholarships will enable students to realize their academic
dreams and contribute to their entrepreneurial aspirations," added
"The Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology program will be like
no other in Canada," said Dean Kozinski. "The BEST will help us create a
true partnership between the professional disciplines of Science,
Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Business and Law. It is especially
stimulating being able to do so thanks to the generosity of our own
alumnus, Doug Bergeron, and his wife Sandra."
The gift extends Douglas and Sandra Bergeron's previous $1.5 million
commitments to Georgia State University and the University of California
at Berkeley where they developed unique programs targeted specifically
toward high-potential female technology undergraduates. Since 2006, 31
women have been named Bergeron Scholars and each recipient has received
financial assistance, but most importantly has been paired with a
C-level female technology mentor in the private sector.
Douglas Bergeron, a Canadian citizen, was born in Windsor, Ontario and
obtained his undergraduate degree at York University in 1983, with a
major in computer science. He has been CEO and the largest individual
shareholder of VeriFone Systems, Inc. (NYSE: PAY) since 2001 when he led
the acquisition of the company from Hewlett-Packard for $50 million. In
the past decade, VeriFone's sales have risen 600% to nearly $2 billion
and the company is now valued at over $5 billion, employing nearly 5,000
people across 120 countries worldwide.
Sandra Bergeron is one of the most highly regarded female technology
leaders in Silicon Valley. She is a venture partner with Trident
Capital, and a director of Qualys Inc. and Sophos plc, and chairman of
Graduates of the Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology program
will earn a Bergeron Distinction in Entrepreneurship and New Ventures
- a certification that the graduate truly understands, appreciates and
embraces the entrepreneurial mind set and is ready to tackle any
The top two scholars will be awarded the Bergeron Entrepreneur Medal.
Both the Distinction and the Medal will be recognized at graduation.
York University is a leading interdisciplinary research and teaching
university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the
undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto - Canada's most
international city. The third largest university in the country, York is
host to a dynamic academic community of 55,000 students and 7,000
faculty and staff, as well as 250,000 alumni worldwide. York's 10
faculties and 28 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking
research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic
boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing
students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to
real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit
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Janice Walls, 416-736-2100 x22101