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StFX breaks ground on Mulroney Institute

Brian Mulroney is applauded by his daughter Caroline and wife Dr. Mila Mulroney after his speech during sod turning for the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and Mulroney Hall building at StFX Wednesday.
Brian Mulroney is applauded by his daughter Caroline and wife Dr. Mila Mulroney after his speech during sod turning for the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and Mulroney Hall building at StFX Wednesday.

ANTIGONISH – Brian Mulroney, Canada’s 18th prime minister, along with his wife, Mila Mulroney, and their daughter, Caroline Mulroney Lapham, were at St. Francis Xavier University Wednesday for the official sod turning of Mulroney Hall and Xaverian Commons.

Brian Mulroney was on hand for the ceremonial sod turning for the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and Mulroney Hall building at St FX Wednesday September 20, 2017.

Hundreds gathered to witness the official ground breaking of Mulroney Hall and Xaverian Commons, a $100 million project heralded as the most transformational in StFX’s history.

Mulroney Hall kicks off the Xaverian Commons project which includes a new academic building to house the Centre for Innovation in Health and refurbishment of Nicholson Tower. Mulroney Hall will be home to the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government which will provide new academic programs and $10 million raised for scholarships and bursaries.

Brian Mulroney speaks to a crowd after the ceremonial sod turning for the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and Mulroney Hall building at St FX Wednesday September 20, 2017.

“Today represents the culmination of a dream,” said Mulroney. “StFX students will now benefit from a unique opportunity as the only public policy institute at a Canadian university directed towards undergraduate students.” 

Mulroney, a graduate of StFX, noted that this will provide students with remarkable preparation for graduate studies or for careers in the public service of all governments in Canada along with agencies ranging from the Bank of Canada to the United Nations.

“This event today is a result of the unparalleled generosity and support of benefactors in the private sector here and elsewhere across the globe. It simply would not have been possible without them,” Mulroney said. He also underlined the tremendous help received for the greater Xaverian Commons project from the provincial and federal governments, which have contributed $5 million and $30 million respectively. 

“Infrastructure is the foundation of the Canada we want to build for tomorrow,” said Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Smart infrastructure investments create good jobs that help grow the middle class now while fostering long-term prosperity. It's thanks to projects like the Centre for Innovation in Health and the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government, as well as the rehabilitation of the Nicholson Tower, that will help us build 21st-century communities and ensure a high quality of life for generations to come."

Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis said the project will spur economic activity, add to the life and vibrancy on campus and build on StFX’s outstanding reputation. It will generate jobs and economic activity.

Brian Mulroney laughs as he shares some memories of attending St. FX during his speech after the ceremonial sod turning for the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and Mulroney Hall building at St FX Wednesday September 20, 2017.

“I look forward to walking through Mulroney Hall and getting an opportunity to meet the StFX students who study there. They will be the leaders of tomorrow.”

StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald said changes will go far beyond a beautiful new 95,000 square foot building for Mulroney Hall. It will transform the student experience at StFX as well as positively impacting the surrounding region.

“This is what it means to leave a legacy. The Mulroney legacy is one we will always be indebted to here at StFX.”

In the afternoon, Mulroney spoke with political science students and held a Q&A session. Earlier in the day, Caroline Mulroney Lapham and Mila Mulroney joined with StFX Chancellor Dr. Susan Crocker and StFX VP and Coady International Director Dr. June Webber to speak with female student leaders on the topic of Women in Leadership. 

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