Thompson Rivers University

TRU introduces the Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics

February 17, 2022

KAMLOOPS, BC—Thompson Rivers University (TRU) is naming its business school in honour of a Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist with deep Kamloops roots and a family legacy grounded in community service. The Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics was unveiled on Feb. 17 and represents the first named school or faculty at TRU.

Bob Gaglardi is the eldest son of Phil and Jennie Gaglardi, who were both influential in Kamloops through ministry, non-profits and politics and led with an unwavering commitment to helping people. From them, Bob Gaglardi learned the importance of investing in community. With a dream to build, he founded Northland Properties in 1963 and, in the same spirit as his parents, found ways to create partnerships that supported communities throughout British Columbia. When his four children talked about how they could give back to honour their father and all he has accomplished, they came back to the place that holds significant meaning for the family: Kamloops.

Gaglardi’s children, with support from Northland Properties, are donating $10 million to TRU for future construction of a new academic building for business studies, as well as other supports in research, programs and financial awards for students and faculty members in business and economics.

The Gaglardi family supported TRU’s wish to name the business school to honour Bob Gaglardi, his enduring connection to Kamloops, and the values he shares with the university.

“This is the first time in TRU’s history that a faculty or school is being named. The impact associated with this donation extends beyond the monetary value and represents leadership for TRU,” says President and Vice-Chancellor Brett Fairbairn. “TRU strives to be a leader in diversity, a leader in community-mindedness, a leader in curiosity and a leader in sustainability. The Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics champions that mission as one of our flagship schools.”

The Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics represents 28 per cent of overall Kamloops campus enrollment in 2022 and is leading in the development of graduate programs. The school is in the midst of seeking internationally recognized accreditation that affirms its commitment to the highest standards in post-secondary education.

“This is a pivotal time for the school of business and it’s important that our name embodies the principles we encourage in our students—integrity, accountability, professionalism, and hard work,” said Dean of the Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics Michael Henry. “This is the start of a strong partnership with the Gaglardi family rooted in our shared values, including developing ethical business leaders and entrepreneurs who will shape and grow their communities.”

Encouraged by his parents to pursue an education after high school, Bob Gaglardi left Kamloops to attend LeTourneau University in Texas. He founded Northland Properties Corporation shortly after and, under his leadership, it grew into a multi-national company that represents some of the most recognized hospitality, sports and entertainment brands in Canada, the US, the UK, and Ireland and employs over 13,000 people.

“Kamloops is a special place to my family but, most of all, to my father,” said Bob’s daughter Andrea Gaglardi, vice-president of corporate development at Northland. “It was important to us as a family to give these funds to TRU in support of the growth and future enrollment at their business school, while also continuing a legacy of contributing to the community that our family has long valued. My father has always led by example, and I hope his story of determination and fortitude inspires generations of business students at TRU as they continue to learn and follow their dreams.”


About the Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics

The Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics aspires to be the school of business that connects the British Columbia Interior to the world through experiential education and high-quality research. With its core business administration (BBA) programs, the Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics allows students to specialize in economics or in one of the functional areas of business or in the field of economics: accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, human resource management, international business, marketing, and supply chain management. It has the most flexible MBA program in the country and a growing number of post-graduate programs. With two innovative master’s programs focused on environmental economics and management, students gain a deeper understanding of the balance between environmental impact and profit in business practice. These include the Master in Environmental Economics and Management and the Master of Science in Environmental Economics and Management.

About Thompson Rivers University:

Focused on the needs of students, the community and the world, Thompson Rivers University believes everyone who seeks an excellent education should have one. From trades to academics, from certificates to graduate degrees, TRU offers over 140 on-campus programs and 60 Open Learning programs. Opened in 1970, TRU now serves more than 25,000 students, from the region and around the world. They can study on campus in Kamloops or Williams Lake, B.C., or by distance or online courses with the Open Learning division. Students choose from flexible learning options, access individualized student services and hands-on learning opportunities and thrive in a diverse, inclusive environment.

About Northland Properties Corporation

Proud to be Canadian headquartered and operating in five countries around the world, Northland Properties is owned by the Gaglardi Family and is the force behind such well-known brands as Sandman Hotel Group, Denny’s Canada, Moxies, The Sutton Place Hotels, Chop Steakhouse & Bar, Shark Club Sports Bar & Grill, King Blue Hotel Toronto, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Grouse Mountain, Dallas Stars NHL team, and Northland Asset Management Company.

Michele Young, TRU Strategic Communications | 250-828-5361