Donation allows U of S business students to invest real money

The Edwards School of Business announces a $1 million gift from George Dembroski that will help students invest real money in the stock market.

“I had decided I would donate a substantial amount of my Cameco shareholdings to the University of Saskatchewan,” said Dembroski, an Ontario-native who recently retired from Cameco’s board. “I wanted to recognize the vitality of the Saskatchewan business community by investing in local education.”

Dembroski's donation will support business students through scholarships and enhancements such as a virtual trading floor and data sets for financial research. His gift will also allow the Edwards School to establish the George S. Dembroski Student Managed Portfolio Trust, adding Edwards to the number of other Canadian business schools that offer a student managed portfolio program.

In addition, Edwards will launch two investment practicum courses in the 2011/2012 academic year, enabling students to earn credit through the hands-on experience. The courses will teach a select group of third and fourth-year business students the intricacies of managing an investment portfolio including selecting financial assets, governance and the ethical issues involved with investing other people's money.

"We are entrusting our students with an incredible responsibility," said Daphne Taras, dean of the Edwards School. "And we are expecting a high level of professionalism."

A portion of the income students earn will be reinvested into the portfolio and the remainder will go toward providing benefits to Edwards' students. Initiatives will include scholarships, sponsoring guest speakers and funding additional activities to improve the student learning experience.

"I hope this will be an incentive for further donations to the Business School to expand the whole area of corporate finance," said Dembroski, who requested that his funds be used toward "further studies in portfolio management and stock trading."

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