Dhillon School of Business benefactor to be recognized with honorary degree

The University of Lethbridge is thrilled to recognize international real estate developer Navjeet (Bob) Dhillon by presenting him with an honorary degree at Spring 2019 Convocation.

Dhillon’s vision of creating a business school that cultivates entrepreneurial leadership and inspires a spirit of innovation is being realized through his gift of $10 million that has transformed the Dhillon School of Business. He will be presented with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the Spring 2019 Convocation IV Ceremony, 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31, at the 1st Choice Savings Centre gymnasium.

“Bob Dhillon’s work ethic, perseverance and willingness to trust his instincts speak to his outstanding business sense and are a great inspiration to our students in the Dhillon School of Business,” says Charles Weaselhead, U of L chancellor. “We are excited to celebrate his desire to support innovative finance education at the University and very pleased he has accepted our offer of an honorary degree.”

Navjeet (Bob) Dhillon

Navjeet (Bob) Dhillon came to Canada as a first-generation Sikh immigrant with no assets but much in work ethic and perseverance. At the age of 19, he began to dabble in real estate by buying under-valued properties, renovating them and then selling them for profit. It was a strategy that would eventually form the basis of his company, Mainstreet Equity Corporation.

Dhillon, with an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University, introduced Mainstreet Equity Corp on the TSX in 2000. Its fundamental focus is to specialize in the acquisition of mid-market multi-family properties, usually consisting of less than 100 apartment units, upgrade them to market standards and offer renters a renovated apartment unit. Dhillon had identified an underserved niche in the real-estate market, and Mainstreet quickly established itself through this philosophy. The company’s portfolio grew from 272 units with a value of $17 million to more than 12,300 units and $2.0 billion in market value in 2019.

Through philanthropic ventures and a desire to give back to Canada, he has sought to create opportunities for students to be best positioned for tomorrow’s business world. Dhillon’s desire is to support innovative education through the implementation of futuristic learning ideals that focus on new technologies and new growth industries.

In 2018, he made institutional history by pledging a $10 million gift to the University of Lethbridge as it transformed its Faculty of Management to the Dhillon School of Business. Dhillon sees his philanthropic activities as a call to action, inspiring and empowering more students to choose Canada as an educational destination and boosting the country’s intellectual capital.