Canadian Mennonite University launches Redekop School of Business

We see the need to educate the next generation in commerce, marketing, and finance, and to do this in a university that inspires and prepares future leaders with skills complemented by ethics, integrity and service. ~ Peter Redekop, CMU

Canadian Mennonite University  launched its new Redekop School of Business in Winnipeg in the fall of 2011. The school was made possible through a significant gift of the Redekop family of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia.

CMU president Gerald Gerbrand said the university was deeply grateful for the gift. The school, he said, has been established as an expression of thanksgiving for God’s providential care for the family of Jacob and Maria Redekop, and their children Mary, Jacob, John, and Peter.”

The two brothers, John and Peter, their nephew James, and the extended family, have together pledged between $6.5 million and $7.5 million to found the school. Twenty-four members of the family travelled to Manitoba from Alberta and British Columbia for the announcement in fall 2011.

Jakob and Maria Redekop, together with their four children, fled to Canada from the Soviet Union after the Second World War. Jacob and Maria Redekop led a group of Mennonites who escaped through Germany, Yugoslavia, Austria and Holland. At one point, the Redekop family had to break the windows of a train that was deporting them back to Russian lines and flee into the forest. By the time the family found refuge in the Netherlands, most of them were on the verge of starvation. In 1947, Canada accepted the Redekops and they sailed to their new home.

Their son, Peter Redekop, was 12 years old, standing on the deck of a ship entering the Halifax harbor when he first saw Canadian soil. His mother wept. “We were so excited that Canada would accept us, because nobody else wanted us,” Peter says.

They spent four months in Manitoba before settling in British Columbia.

“We see the need to educate the next generation in commerce, marketing, and finance,” says Peter Redekop, speaking for the family, “and to do this in a university that inspires and prepares future leaders with skills complemented by ethics, integrity and service.”

The business school offers a four-year bachelor of business administration degree with majors in accounting, business management, human resources management and not-for-profit management, and a bachelor of arts degree with a major in business and organizational administration.

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