BMO Donates $1 Million to Graduate Scholarship Endowment at the University of

First student recipient of BMO graduate scholarship announced today

EDMONTON, Nov. 25 /CNW/ - A $1 million gift from BMO Financial Group will provide important support to the University of Alberta's Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for the recruitment and retention of outstanding graduate students.

The BMO Financial Group Graduate Scholarship is an endowment to be established over a 10-year period. It is awarded annually to a student registered in, or admitted to, a full-time PhD or thesis-based Master's program at the University of Alberta. The first $20,000 BMO Graduate Scholarship was awarded to Libe Garcia Zarranz today at a ceremony with Robert Hayes, Senior Vice President, Prairies Division, BMO Bank of Montreal and Linda Hughes, Chancellor, University of Alberta.

"This generous contribution from BMO Financial Group recognizes the leadership role that our outstanding graduate students can play in the community at large and also provides crucial support for our innovative approach to teaching, learning, and research at the University of Alberta," says Mazi Shirvani, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

"Our donation to the University of Alberta's graduate studies program reinforces our commitment to supporting and strengthening research and higher learning at one of Canada's leading educational institutions," said Mr. Hayes. "BMO believes that investing in higher education leads to healthier, more resilient civil societies," he added.

Since 1817, BMO Financial Group, Canada's first bank, has supported the principles of community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves. BMO is one of Canada's largest corporate benefactors. In 2008, the Bank contributed $48 million in Canada, including $24 million in charitable donations and $24 million in sponsorships and events.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Laurie Grant, BMO Financial Group,, (604) 665-7596; Jamie Hanlon, University of Alberta,, (780) 492-9214; Internet:;

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