The grant was given by John KF Irving and Anne C Irving Oxley in honour of their father, John E "Jack'' Irving, a Canadian businessman.
John KF Irving, president of Ocean Capital Investments Limited in Saint John, New Brunswick, went to Harvard as an undergraduate and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Oxley is a landscape architect.
The grant will allow the department to admit more graduate students, attract top teaching talent, and renew its reputation as a leader in the field, said the department chairman, Charles Waldheim
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