Stewart and Marilyn Blusson

Stewart Blusson, OC, FRSC and Marilyn Blusson

Stewart and Marilyn Blusson are among the most generous philanthropists in Canadian history and some of the country’s most committed advocates of crucial basic research that can lead to world-changing discoveries.

While pursuing his undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia, Stewart learned that geology was the perfect field for him. Not only did it involve working outdoors, but it also required a firm grasp of science and could be carried out anywhere. After graduating from UBC in 1960, Stewart completed his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1964, he was privileged to join the world renowned Geological Survey of Canada, focusing research on Canada’s far north. In 2016, Stewart was elected to the Royal Society of Canada. 

Marilyn and Stewart married in 1980 and, a year later, Stewart left the survey to work as an independent consultant and prospector. Drawing on his geological expertise and his explorer’s enthusiasm for new territory, he co-discovered the deposit that gave birth to the Ekati Diamond Mine, Canada’s first diamond mine.

Since his student days, Stewart dreamed of establishing a research institute – a place that would contain state-of-the-art labs and equipment and attract brilliant scientists. With their gift to the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute, the Blussons positioned UBC to push the boundaries of research vital to the future of scientific advancement; paving the way for potentially transformative advances in energy, computing power, and new materials.

Stewart and Marilyn’s appreciation for basic research and incredible foresight have been differentiating factors for UBC, and the university was honoured to name the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute for them.