Ernest S. Rady
B.Comm., LL.B.(Man.); LL.D.(UCSD)
Mr. Ernest Rady is a nice guy. So true is this characterization that, in 2012, he was celebrated as the “Nice Guy of the Year” by the San Diego Nice Guys charity. A few years later, San Diego’s main daily newspaper named him its city’s Person of the Year for 2015. Mr. Rady is loved because he creates opportunities for others to succeed. Whether he is supporting this institution, his alma mater, the Jewish community in his birth-city of Winnipeg, a children’s hospital or his adopted city’s world-famous zoo, Mr. Rady is a leader determined to change lives.
This is what visionaries do.
In 2009, Mr. Rady and his sisters, Marjorie Blankstein and Mindel Olenick, established the Mindermar Professorship in Human Simulation at the University of Manitoba’s College of Medicine, which has transformed how our students learn and ultimately how they practice medicine. It is no surprise that Mr. Rady and his family chose to support medical training at the University of Manitoba. Their father was a deeply respected member of Winnipeg’s medical community and a great friend of the University of Manitoba. He taught his children the importance of giving back to the community.
Mr. Rady recognizes his tremendous capacity to impact the health and well-being of young people. In 2006, he and his company, American Assets, Inc., donated $60 million to San Diego’s children’s hospital. Driven to do more, this past year, Mr. Rady pledged a further $120 million to the hospital to establish the Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute. This is the largest donation ever made to the Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation and its impact on sick children and their families is immeasurable. Most recently, in April of this year, he donated $100 million to the Rady School of Management, a school he founded at the University of California, San Diego.
Mr. Rady’s impact is vast, with philanthropic gifts well in excess of $200 million spread among an array of charities. He has the foresight to use his resources to challenge others to participate in advancing their communities. He also has the determination to give his time as a committed volunteer, whose service is sought after by numerous organizations such as the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, and Junior Achievement Winnipeg.
An entrepreneur at heart, Mr. Rady has founded several successful businesses, including American Assets Trust in 1967. He is currently chairman of this and other businesses, and sits on the boards of a number of corporations in the United States and Canada. A trailblazer in the business world, his skillful leadership has steered his companies to tremendous success in financial services, investment management, real estate, and other industries.
Mr. Rady has received many honours for both his charitable work and professional achievements. Most notably, Ernst & Young named him its 2009 Financial Services Entrepreneur of the Year and presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Although Mr. Rady calls California home today, his path to success started right here at the University of Manitoba where he received his Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws. It is fitting that he now returns to his alma mater to have his accomplishments and impacts recognized by the University of Manitoba’s highest award, an honorary degree.
The University of Manitoba is proud to award an Honorary Doctor of Laws to Mr. Rady, a loving family man, visionary philanthropist, savvy businessman, and truly nice guy who has transformed the lives of many.