Every year on the first Friday of February, Dalhousie closes its doors to celebrate Munro Day. And for good reason. Without George Munro, Dalhousie University would merely be a page in a history book.
George Munro, born in 1825 near the once active shipping port of Pictou, Nova Scotia, did not attend Dalhousie, nor did he follow his first career choice of becoming a Presbyterian minister. Instead, he made his way to New York City and fulfilled his destiny in the printing and publishing business, amassing great wealth in the process. Even so, his loyalty and attachment to Nova Scotia prevailed. When Dalhousie faced extinction, his gifts of $330,000 ($10 or $11 million today) brought life and independence to the fledgling institution. George Munro endowed Dalhousie chairs in physics, history, political economy, English literature, and philosophy.
The man who published romances, light fiction and an inexpensive story paper called “The Fireside Companion” recognized the power of education.
George Munro’s legacy is a reminder that individual contributions to education, even those seemingly small, generate positive outcomes for society.