Thanks a million — or 20.

On Thursday, Dalhousie University honoured billionaire Seymour Schulich, one of Canada’s richest men, in appreciation of a $20-million gift to the school.

In thanks of the unprecedented donation, Dalhousie law students will be graduating from the Schulich School of Law beginning this year.

The gift was formally announced at a reception at Dalhousie’s Weldon Law Building Thursday evening. After an opening speech from Dalhousie President Dr. Tom Traves, Schulich addressed the crowd, stressing that the money is meant for students, not to sit in an endowment.

“A lot of places believe that having a large endowment is the objective of an endowment,” said Schulich.

“But I believe putting large amounts of money to work is the objective of an endowment. I have a very different mindset on that subject.”

Michelle McBride, president of the Dalhousie Law Students’ Society, said while there was some resistance amongst students to the re-naming, it subsided when they learned the gift was student-focused.

“We all love this place, and we all want good things for the future of this place,” said McBride. “And this money is going to give us the resources to fully realize the potential of an already great law school.”

Schulich came under criticism last month, after being quoted in a Halifax newspaper as saying wealthy Maritimers are not giving back enough.

He clarified his statements with reporters after his speech Thursday evening.

“I said a very few Maritime families aren’t, in my opinion, carrying their weight,” said Schulich. “It’s not something that I haven’t said in Ontario, that I haven’t said in Calgary … If you’re one of the richest guys in the country, I think you have a duty to make Canada a better place.”