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Jean and Angus Bruneau announced a donation of more than $1 million to aid engineering students pursuing extracurricular and volunteer activities. ((CBC))

A former engineering dean who founded one of Canada's fastest-growing utilities has made a record-setting donation to Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Angus Bruneau and his wife, Jean Bruneau,onMonday announced a donation of$1,030,643 fora fund that willaid future engineering students.

Memorial described the gift as the largest single donation it has received from a living person.

The fund will be used to encourage engineering students to pursue extracurricular and volunteer activities, said Bruneau, who founded Fortis Inc. — the parent company of Newfoundland Power and numerous other businesses — after an academic career.

"When I was dean, I realized how difficult it was for students to get the money together to do the things that took them out into the community, that really were enriching things, and the activities in which they could… actually discover and develop their leadership skills," he said Monday at a ceremony at the university's engineering building.

Bruneau came to Memorial in 1968, and was dean from 1969 to 1974. While dean, he founded one of the first co-operative engineering programs in the country. The program, which still operates, places students in work terms with prospective employers.

Bruneau also was an early leader of the Centre for Cold Ocean Resources Engineering— better known by its acronym, C-CORE— which is a centre of research excellence in offshore energy research.

The new fund will also support research and a variety of educational programs, including design competitions, seminars and school outreach initiatives.

Bruneau founded Fortis in 1987. It owns several power companies in Canada and abroad, and has real estate and other interests.

Bruneau retired as Fortis board chair in 2006.