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Inspiring young people to follow his path to the oilfield

Doug Ramsay (centre) with wife Susan and business partner Ron Mathison, on the site of the future Ramsay Centre for Petroleum Engineering at SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary.

The Gift: $3-million

The Cause: SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary

The Reason: Helping build a centre for petroleum engineering

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When Doug Ramsay was growing up in Alberta in the 1960s, his family moved so often he can barely remember all of the places he lived.

"I grew up in company housing," he recalled from his office in Calgary. "My dad was a pipeline builder and we lived all over Alberta. "We always lived where he worked ... I moved seven times before I was seven years old."

Mr. Ramsay's father finally settled down in Brooks, Alta., southeast of Calgary. It wasn't long before the son started his own career in the oil industry. He began working on drilling rigs shortly after graduating high school and then enrolled in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, now called SAIT Polytechnic, and studied petroleum technology.

After graduating in 1977, Mr. Ramsay worked at various companies in the United States and eventually returned to Calgary to co-found Calfrac Well Services Ltd., which provides specialized oilfield services and has about $1-billion in annual sales.

When Mr. Ramsay was approached to participate in a major fundraising campaign at SAIT, he and his wife, Susan, jumped at the chance. The couple have donated $3-million and Mr. Ramsay's colleague Ron Mathison is donating $1-million. The money will go toward a new centre for petroleum engineering at the school.

"What a great opportunity for a kid from Brooks, with what I'll call a modest upbringing, to be able to give back like this," Mr. Ramsay said. "Maybe I can inspire some more young people to go down that path of education and enhance this growing oil and gas business we have in Alberta."



pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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