Faculty of Social Science

Economics Professor leaves lasting legacy

February 15, 2017

Former Western Economics Professor John KnightFormer Western University Economics Professor John Knight, who passed away in January 2016, invested $5.25 million in London Health Sciences Centre’s research with a gift from his estate. The donation, announced February 14, 2017, is the largest estate gift ever received by London Health Sciences Foundation.

The inspiration for Mr. Knight’s donation to cancer research was his wife Mary, who passed away from ovarian cancer in 2008. The atrium at the London Health Sciences London Regional Cancer Program has been named in honour of Mary and John Knight.

Knight taught at Western University for 28 years, from 1987 to 2015. He was an internationally known expert in the fields of econometrics and financial econometrics. His early research in econometrics involved the application of distribution theory to economic problems. Later, he specialized in the use of the empirical characteristic function in the estimation of financial time series data. He published 60 papers in journals and edited volumes, and continuously held NSERC grants throughout his career at Western

Knight also supervised or was a committee member for over 25 graduate students. He kept track of his students and their career successes long after they finished their degrees. He also often formed long-term working relationships with his students; having co-authored 13 papers with former students.

Recently, Knight played a lead role in the development of a new Master of Financial Economics (MFE) at Western. As its External Director in 2014-2015, he was instrumental in stewarding new donor-sponsored scholarships which provide financial support to students, and he expanded the program’s employer network to improve internship and full-time job prospects for MFE students.

Read more about the donation and its impact.