Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
The family of local businessman and long-time Brock University supporter H.-Rudi Kroeker made a $1-million donation to the institution in support of the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex.
Kroeker and his wife Yvette made their pledge through a gift of life insurance. In recognition of their generosity and years of service to Brock, the Cairns Complex atrium will be named the H.-Rudi Kroeker Family Atrium for the life of the building.
Kroeker served 13 years on the University’s Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2014, including three years as Board chair. It was during his time as chair that the University broke ground on construction for the Cairns Complex in September 2009. “He has witnessed the workings of our institution first hand, and he is a believer when it comes to supporting students, innovation and community partnerships,” said Brock President Jack Lightstone at today’s announcement.
“This gift to the University,” he said, “will create a lasting legacy at Brock that will have a significant impact on faculty, staff and students in the many years to come.”
“My family and I are extremely pleased to be supporters of Brock University,” said Kroeker. “We sincerely hope that the support we’ve provided to this facility will allow faculty, staff, students and entrepreneurs to excel in their fields, and pursue their research dreams - for all of our benefits.”
Kroeker is President and CEO of Welland, Ont.-based Whiting Equipment Canada Inc., designers and manufacturers of heavy industrial equipment, as well as Chairman and CEO of Handling Specialty in Grimsby, Ont. He oversees Whiting Transportation Corp. of Niagara Falls, N.Y. and Whiting Equipment Services Co. Ltd. He is Chairman and CEO of Zhejiang NAMAG Equipment Manufacturing Co. Ltd. located in Tongxiang, P.R. China, and director of Swenson Technology Inc. in Monee, Illinois.
Marilyn I. Walker (LLD '08)
A collective gasp, followed by cheers and a thunderous and prolonged standing ovation, greeted an announcement on Nov. 5, 2008 that philanthropist and fibre artist Marilyn Walker was personally donating $15 million to Brock University’s School of Fine and Performing Arts to ensure every student has an opportunity to express their creativity.
At the time it was the largest gift ever received by Brock University or made in the Niagara region.
Brock’s School of Fine and Performing Arts was formed in 2002 in the Faculty of Humanities to be an interdisciplinary centre for creative and scholarly activities relating to the arts. In November 2008, Marilyn I. Walker made a transformational gift of $15 million to support the School, which was renamed in her honour.
Brock University’s new home of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts is one part of a unique joint venture with the City of St. Catharines to place in the heart of the city a multi-use arts complex designed to serve the needs of the University and the community.
Marilyn’s also a community leader and committed arts advocate whose thoughtful leadership and heartfelt dedication has created positive change in Niagara. She is a devoted volunteer and supporter of local arts and was awarded a Mayor’s Patron of the Arts Award in 2007 by the City of St. Catharines for her noteworthy contributions.
Arthur Peltomaa (BA '74)
One side of his brain is engaged in law and philanthropy. After becoming an accomplished corporate lawyer, Art so appreciated the life-changing opportunity he’d received at Brock that he wanted to enhance the experience for generations of students to come. So he paid forward his gratitude to Brock by generously giving to the beautiful, student-friendly Matheson Learning Commons — and asked that it be named for his favourite professor: “Bill Matheson was to me and others a mentor and source of inspiration and encouragement.”
His generous gift is a symbolic gesture of his educational experience at Brock and also provides present and future students with a learning environment to pursue their own educational dreams.
“Much of what I have been able to achieve in life I can trace back to Brock and to the people who taught me here. They taught me how to think, not what to think. That’s an important distinction.”
After earning his BA from Brock in 1974, Art attended Osgoode Hall Law School where he earned his Master of Laws. Today he’s a partner in the Toronto office of the law firm Bennett Jones LLP.
The other side of Art’s brain is focused on family and culture.
He’s a dad who can be found at pool sides and ice rinks, proudly encouraging his son’s development as a hockey goalie and his daughter as a figure skater and swimmer, among other activities.
He also has a passion for architecture and sculpture, has undertaken a number of building design projects and has sculpted in a range of materials, including wood, stone, clay and concrete.