Desjardins donates $4.5 million to Campus Montréal

12 Dec 2013

Desjardins Group is supporting a fundraising campaign launched by Campus Montréal that will enable three Canadian universities to carry out on-going research and study projects on the co-operative model.

Campus brings together HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and Université de Montreal, for a joint fundraising campaign. As part of this campaign, Desjardins has donated USD $3.5m to HEC Montréal and another USD $1m to Polytechnique Montréal.

The largest financial co-operative group in Canada, Desjardins employs thousands of HEC Montréal graduates. Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive of Desjardins Group, Monique Leroux, believes the partnership will help train the leaders of tomorrow.

“Quebec has about 3,000 co-operatives in all sectors of the economy. For these businesses, as for any business, management excellence is a key to success. And management excellence is exactly what HEC Montréal represents. By working together we will contribute to the growth and recognition of co-operatives,” she said.

Hélène Desmarais, Chairperson of the Board of HEC Montréal, also welcomed the new partnership with Desjardins, saying that it will “contribute to our mission of training the next generation of managers and entrepreneurs by allowing us to better understand the co-operative approach to business development”.

Desjardins has been working together with Polytechnique Montréal since 2007, helping them to develop scientific knowledge and technological advancements in the area of sustainable development. With help from Desjardins, the polytechnique managed to create admission scholarships for deserving students and set up a six-credit integrative project in sustainable development.

Guy Breton, Rector of the Université de Montréal also thanked Desjardins for their support. “This generous donation by Desjardins shows the growing interest on the part of the business community, which sees the immense strategic importance of a world-class university complex for Montréal. This notion of active citizenship, of shared responsibility, bodes very well for Quebec’s future,” he said.

“Co-operation as an attitude, as the ability to work with others to find collective solutions, is more important than ever in today’s world,” said Ms Leroux. “What we are talking about here is co-operation in the broadest sense of the word. With our increased interdependence, we really don’t have a choice; we have to become reacquainted with the notion of solidarity so we can work together on activities that are going to require a great deal of perseverance. There is no other way to strengthen our balance sheets and balance our budgets. There is no other way to fight inequality. And there is no other way to address the challenges of education and democracy.”

Photo (credit HEC Montréal): Christophe Guy, Director General of Polytechnique Montréal, Michel Patry, Director of HEC Montréal, Hélène Desmarais, Presidente of the Board of HEC Montréal, Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO, Desjardins Group, Guy Breton,  Rector, Université de Montréal snd John Parisella, Executive Director, Campus Montréal.

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