Gene Haas Foundation boosts SAIT student success


February 15, 2017

(l to r) SAIT President and CEO Dr. David Ross, Gene Haas Foundation Administrator Kathy Looman, and SAIT School of Manufacturing & Automation Dean David Roberge pose with the donation cheque.

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) recently received a U.S.$1million contribution from the Gene Haas Foundation in support of applied education in Alberta. This is the U.S.-based foundation’s largest gift to any Canadian post-secondary institution to date.

These major funds will further strengthen SAIT and the Gene Haas Foundation’s shared goal of training excellence in manufacturing and automation.

“The long-term partnerships we foster with industry are vital in setting our students up for success,” said Dr. David Ross, SAIT president and CEO. “This generous gift from the Gene Haas Foundation inspires industry confidence and is testament to SAIT’s global leadership in applied education. The relationship we are building with the foundation will be transformative, enabling cross-industry diversification for our students for years to come.”

The funds will be used to expand and enhance SAIT’s machining labs at the Thomas Riley building through the School of Manufacturing and Automation. Renovations are scheduled to begin in early 2017. When complete, the new project-based labs will contain SAIT’s already state-of-the-art, industry-standard, CNC machining equipment.

“Gene Haas believes a manufacturing base is fundamental to a strong economy,” said Kathy Looman, the foundation’s administrator. “This passionate view led him to grow his personal foundation and focus on manufacturing education throughout North America. Our foundation now provides millions of dollars in scholarships annually, as well as funds for the growth of selected capital projects, for outstanding programs delivered by respected educational institutions such as SAIT.”

SAIT prepares students for careers by offering programs through eight schools, including the School of Manufacturing and Automation. Within each school, instructors bring their industry expertise to students who learn through a combination of theory and action-based learning. SAIT schools are also equipped with high-tech labs, allowing students to get hands-on experience and training using real-world equipment.


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