The Munk School of Global Affairs was created through Peter Munk’s generosity and vision. Peter was one of this country’s most extraordinary citizens. He was born in Budapest in 1927, and he narrowly escaped the Holocaust when he fled on a train organized by Rudolf Krastner. He arrived in Canada speaking no English in 1948 and enrolled at the University of Toronto. After graduating, he went from strength to strength and built a global business empire.

Throughout his life, Peter was extremely grateful that Canada welcomed him wholeheartedly as an immigrant. No one who heard him speak about his story and his gratitude to this country could be anything but moved. But in fact the opposite was the case: he was the gift to the country, as an entrepreneur, an institution builder, and a philanthropist of the very first order. He had big dreams for his country and for his university and believed passionately that both could make a contribution to the world.

Peter was a patriot in the best sense of the word. He profoundly believed that Canada should lead the global conversation on the most pressing issues of the day. This belief led to his decision to found a global affairs school at the heart of the University of Toronto. We are incredibly grateful for his generosity and will work to ensure that the Munk School, its students and its faculty, its research and its teaching, its innovation and its excellence, stand as a testament to his legacy. Rest in peace, Peter Munk.

Janice Gross Stein (Founding Director, 1998-2014), Stephen Toope (Director, 2015-2017), and Randall Hansen (Interim Director).

March 29, 2018

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In Memoriam: Peter Munk (1927 – 2018)