News Release

REF NO.: 24

SUBJECT: Woodward family donates $1.13 million to empower student entrepreneurs at Memorial University

DATE: October 27, 2017

The family of the late Dr. Melvin Woodward has donated $1.13 million to Memorial University’s Faculty of Business Administration to help existing and aspiring student entrepreneurs develop their innovative business ideas.

The donation comes from Peter, Melvin and Tana Woodward in memory of their father, Dr. Woodward, a respected business owner who founded Woodward Group of Companies. The funds will be distributed through the Dr. Mel Woodward Innovation and Entrepreneurship Endowment Fund and targeted at student entrepreneurs through an annual business competition now known as the Mel Woodward Cup.

The Mel Woodward Cup, a program of the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship (MCE), will award up to $40,000 annually in cash prizes, as well as provide mentoring and other supports from MCE and its partners to winning students and teams of students.

"My father strongly believed that you never know what you're capable of until you go out and try,” said Peter Woodward, president and chief executive officer, Woodward Group of Companies. “With this donation, we want to give students interested in entrepreneurship that opportunity to try. We hope that this fund sparks potential entrepreneurs to follow in the footsteps of our father and, in doing so, do their own part to contribute to expanding the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

“This tremendous gift supports our long-term plan to cultivate student entrepreneurship, which is a fundamental part of innovation at Memorial,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor. “Partners like the Woodward family are so important to our success and I thank them for their support of Memorial and its students. It’s fitting that a gift in Dr. Woodward’s name will continue his incredible legacy of contributing to an economically diverse and sustainable Newfoundland and Labrador.”

“This generous donation from the Woodward family shows incredible support for, and belief in, our students and their capacity as potential entrepreneurs," said Dr. Isabelle Dostaler, dean of Memorial’s business faculty. “Through this donation and the Mel Woodward Cup, we will be able to provide a tangible investment in our students and support them on their journeys towards becoming the next generation of business leaders. We’re grateful to the Woodward family for their support.”


About Dr. Melvin Woodward

A Labrador business pioneer and successful entrepreneur, Dr. Woodward contributed significantly to the economic development of Newfoundland and Labrador through the growth of Woodward Group of Companies. Known as one of the most successful business people in the history of the province, Dr. Woodward was also dedicated to community building through his distinguished years of public service. The many accolades he received during his lifetime include induction into the Newfoundland and Labrador Business Hall of Fame in 2001, receiving an honorary doctor of laws degree from Memorial University in 2003 and winning the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.


About the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship (MCE)

MCE is a campus-wide centre at Memorial University initiated through a partnership of the Faculty Business Administration and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The starting point for any student, faculty or staff member at Memorial interested in entrepreneurship, MCE promotes entrepreneurship, supports the development of startup ideas and contributes to the development of an attractive entrepreneurial ecosystem at Memorial and beyond.


- 30 -