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Golden opportunity
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

On reading of the contribution of "Canadian gold guru" Pierre Lassonde for a new entrepreneurial center at the University of Utah, I reacted with fear and loathing ("Mining magnate emerges as major U. of Utah donor," Tribune, Nov. 5).

I've studied and worked in tropical rainforests my whole life, and the environmental and social devastation of gold mining — Lassonde's business — in these areas has been up close and personal. This industry has an ugly track record.

On reading more about Lassonde, I was pleased to see that he recognizes that times have changed and that new entrepreneurs cannot be in his mold. In this cynical age, it is important that the U. uphold principles of civic-mindedness and public good.

The Lassonde donation and "commitment" to turn students into entrepreneurs is an excellent opportunity to inject a greater element of sustainability, environmental stewardship and morality into what has been a strongly self-oriented domain.

The entrepreneurial spirit is needed to repair damage done by earlier entrepreneurs. I'd love to see a new Lassonde Center for Environmental Reparations.

Jack Longino

Salt Lake City

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