Prominent Nova Scotia businessman Ken Rowe has donated $15 million to Dalhousie University's School of Business Administration – one of the biggest donations ever received by a Maritime university.

Rowe is the chairman of IMP Group International, a Halifax-based aerospace, aviation and commercial conglomerate.

The announcement came this morning at a location on campus that bears his name – the Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building – which he christened six years ago.

"It gives me some pleasure that I'm in a position to be able to do it, and while so many businesses out there are struggling," says Rowe.

The university says the money will be used to launch new programs, offer scholarships to high-potential business students and support business research.

"We wouldn't have a business school without Ken Rowe," says Peggy Cunningham, Dalhousie's dean of management. "Government cutbacks have made it difficult for universities, so just having discretionary funds where we can build our programs is just truly amazing and it couldn't have come at a better time."

Cunningham says the donation will be transformative for the business school and help it achieve a higher standard of excellence.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Felicia Yap and The Canadian Press