The University of Calgary has received a $50 million donation, the largest one-time gift in its history.

The money – $25 million from an Ontario philanthropist and matched by the provincial government – will go to the U of C's faculty of engineering.

Seymour Schulich, co-founder of Franco-Nevada Mining Corp. and a director of Newmont Mining has given other large donations to universities and colleges, but this was his first to a post-secondary institution in western Canada.

"I think you can give time, talent or treasure, they're all important," Schulich, 65, said. "Not all of you may have money, but you may have time or talent.

"One of the men I know who's a good philanthropist says money is like fertilizer. If you pile it up, it starts to smell. But if you spread it around, you can grow some beautiful things."

The faculty was renamed Wednesday the Schulich School of Engineering.

The $50 million will be used for more than 100 new scholarships, to create three new research chairs and will pay for more field trips for students.

"This kind of long-term commitment we believe will vault the faculty of engineering to the highest echelons of teacher and research in North America and indeed in the world," U of C president Harvey Weingarten said.

"Long after all of us here today have packed up and moved on or retired, this kind of donation will be paying dividends in generations of top-quality students."