Jan. 12, 2022
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – The William Birchall Foundation has donated $500,000 over five years to Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, in support of the Master of Science in Management Analytics (MMA) program.
The gift will establish the William Birchall Chair in Management Analytics position for a five-year term beginning soon.
The chair position includes financial support for full-time faculty members in the MMA program who are producing related research; academics and industry to collaborate on identifying and solving challenges; and engagement activities for students.
The foundation will also create the William Birchall Scholarship in Management Analytics, an entrance scholarship of $20,000 for a student starting in the MMA program at the Lazaridis School. This scholarship will be given out for the first time in the 2022-23 academic year, with preference given to a domestic student.
The first consideration deadline for applicants to the MMA program is Jan. 15, at which time the admissions committee will review completed applications. The William Birchall Scholarship in Management Analytics will be awarded based on the recommendation of the admissions committee.
“Today’s businesses need skilled leaders who can adapt, analyze and use data to advance strategy,” said Micheál J. Kelly, dean of the Lazaridis School. “Thanks to this generous gift from our longstanding partners at the William Birchall Foundation, the Lazaridis Master of Science in Management Analytics program is primed to attract top talent to meet this critical demand.”
In 2018, the William Birchall Foundation gave $100,000 to establish the William Birchall Foundation Fellowship in Accounting. Because of this generous gift, Darren Henderson, the William Birchall Foundation fellow in accounting, was able to publish more research, present his work in many different venues and increase capacity to serve the Lazaridis School and broader academic community.
“Our Management Analytics master’s program is designed to open the world of analytics and business intelligence to graduates with backgrounds in business, science, technology, engineering and math who are looking to take the next step in their career,” said Master of Science in Management Analytics program director Michael Pavlin. “This dynamic and fast-moving field of work continues to be on the forefront of business, driven by exciting advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
To meet the demand for skilled data and analytics professionals, the Lazaridis School launched the MMA in the fall of 2020. This leading-edge 12-month professional program helps skilled workers learn to use methods such as machine learning and optimization to analyze and leverage a company’s data to make smarter business decisions and propel their company to be more competitive.
“Data analytics is such a big part of the future of business in Canada and around the globe,” said Alexander Birchall (BBA ’17), a Laurier alumnus and director of the private family foundation. “We are pleased to partner with the Lazaridis School to support education in this growing and crucial field, and look forward to engaging with the research that stems from the William Birchall Chair in Management Analytics.”
– 30 –