MIE Board Members Give Back to Skule

Som Seif (IndE 9T9) with MIE dinner co-host Chirag Variawa (MSE 0T9, MIE PhD candidate). View more photos from the event in Flickr.

In his keynote address at the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering (MIE) annual dinner on April 12, engineer-turned-entrepreneur Som Seif (IndE 9T9) announced a personal commitment of $250,000 to U of T Engineering. As an alumnus and a member of the MIE Board of Advisors, Seif is keenly aware of the value of a U of T Engineering education and the need for external support.

“My momentum started here,” says Seif, founder and CEO of Purpose Investments Inc., which he formed following the sale of his first venture, Claymore Investments, to BlackRock Inc. in 2012. “Engineering taught me how to think about problems in new ways, and it instilled in me a work ethic and drive that enables me to get things done. I’m not always the smartest guy in the room, but I’m always the hardest working.”

At the dinner, Seif encouraged alumni to find out what they’re passionate about and support it. $150,000 of Seif’s gift will provide scholarships for Industrial Engineering students who have a passion for business and $100,000 will support U of T Engineering’s entrepreneurship program, The Entrepreneurship Hatchery. In addition, he pledged $50,000 to the U of T men’s water polo team, of which he was a member and coach.

Seif was one of several MIE Board members to be recognized for their recent contributions. Others included Tom Woods (IndE 7T5), senior executive vice-president and chief risk officer at CIBC, who established a strategic fund for the MIE Chair, allowing support of initiatives and special projects. David Poirier (IndE 8T1), Chair of the MIE Industry Board and CEO of the Poirier Group Ltd., established a new Industrial Engineering scholarship through a contribution to U of T’s Boundless Promise Matching Program. MIE Board of Advisors chair John Weber (MechE 7T9) and Dr. Connie Mariano established a biomechanical engineering graduate scholarship, which reflects Weber’s interest and background in engineering and Mariano’s career in medicine (Mariano is a physician and past White House Physician to the President).

“I would like to thank all of the members of the MIE Advisory and Industry Boards for their ongoing commitment,” says Professor Jean Zu, Chair of the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering. “With their support, we are working to achieve our ambitious goals.”