July 31, 2013
The HEC Montréal community was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the School’s builders, J.-Denis Duquette, who died at age 79 on July 29, 2013, following a brief illness. As Secretary General of the School from 1971 to 1995, he touched generations of students and alumni. A man of great compassion, intellect and conviction, he was an unparalleled ambassador for HEC Montréal and Quebec society, and a tireless defender of the quality of university education. His keen mind, his vast wisdom, his sense of entrepreneurship, his exceptional communication and negotiating skills, his brilliant analytical capabilities and his openness to the world were just some of the qualities that made him such an extraordinary figure.
Mr. Duquette joined the School in 1961 and quickly climbed through the ranks. Over the next 34 years, and even after retiring from his position as Secretary General in 1995, he served his alma mater with uncommon devotion and energy. He continued his career with the Centre international de recherches et d’études en management (CIREM), whose executive training program is now affiliated with HEC Montréal. He was its President and Executive Director from 1998 to 2005.
Mr. Duquette directed a large number of the School’s administrative units. What is more, he was a past master in the art of forging profitable ties between the School and the larger community – with students, alumni, donors, employers, businesspeople, university leaders from near and far, government representatives, etc. His achievements include the launch of the School’s first fundraising campaigns, hosting Lunches at the Ritz, regular meetings between the School and influential business leaders, creating Canada's most extensive international exchange program, Passport to the World, and the School’s associate membership in the Conférence des grandes écoles de France.
He was also widely involved in the academic community, in particular as President and founding member of the Association des secrétaires généraux d’établissements universitaires and board member of the Groupe international des secrétaires généraux d’universités francophones. He also chaired the Secretary Generals Committee of the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec and the Association des diplômés de HEC Montréal. His social commitment also led him to serve on the boards of the Conseil de vie française d’Amérique, the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan, Collège Mont-Saint-Louis, the SSQ, mutuelle d’assurances and the Foyer de charité Villa Châteauneuf.
In recognition of all his accomplishments, the School granted him the title of Honorary Secretary General, in 1996. The Réseau HEC Montréal and the School also named him a Distinguished Alumnus in 2010. Mr. Duquette held a Bachelor of Commerce and a licence ès sciences commerciales, which he earned in 1955 and 1956, respectively.
All the members of the HEC Montréal community join in offering their most sincere sympathy to Mr. Duquette’s family – his wife, Denise Aubry, his children, Anne, Pascal (Johanne Gagnon) and Isabelle (Stéphane Camus), his grandchildren, Julien, Bertrand, Guillaume, Antoine and Pauline, his brother, Pierre, his sisters and brothers-in-law, and his many other relatives and friends.
The family will be receiving condolences on Friday, August 2, from 5 to 10 p.m., at the Urgel Bourgie funeral complex at 1255 avenue Beaumont, in Town of Mount Royal. The funeral will be held on Saturday, August 3, at 1 p.m., in the parish of Saint-André-Apôtre, at 215 rue Prieur Ouest, Montreal. The family will be in attendance starting at noon.