Wednesday March 24, 2021
Montréal, March 24, 2021 – HEC Montréal is proud to announce that its future home in the downtown business district will be named the Hélène Desmarais Building, in recognition of this Quebec businesswoman’s unflagging commitment to her alma mater and a donation of $7 million by the Paul and Hélène Desmarais family. This gift, the most generous in the School’s history from an individual or family, will go toward the construction of the building. Starting in the fall of 2022, the Hélène Desmarais Building will help the School foster collaboration and exchanges among professionals, entrepreneurs and academics.
This is an important step for HEC Montréal: the first time in its history that it has given a name to one of its buildings.
“For over 30 years, Hélène Desmarais has made an exceptional contribution to the School’s renown and to developing future generations of managers. Associating her name with this new building is a way of underscoring the important and constantly growing role of women in entrepreneurship and the business world,” says HEC Montréal Director Federico Pasin.
“The new downtown building will let HEC Montréal continue to play its role as a global hub of scientific advances. I share the School’s ambition to capitalize on its internationally recognized fields of expertise and to act as a driving force in supporting businesses as they take on the challenges of technological transformation. This close and agile collaboration with industry will be founded on practical expertise in the economic world and in-depth knowledge of the technologies shaping our future,” says Hélène Desmarais, who was the first woman appointed to chair the School’s Board of Directors, in 2003.
The focus in the Hélène Desmarais Building will be on training for practising professionals, such as the MBA, EMBA and executive education programs, which draw experienced professionals from all over the world. The School will be more accessible to executives and professionals working in the downtown business district, helping to transfer knowledge to organizations and improve the skills of the business people who power the Quebec economy.
“The HEC Montréal Foundation is pleased and privileged that Paul and Hélène Desmarais are supporting the cause of HEC Montréal. Their aim has always been to encourage the School to join the ranks of the top institutions in the world, by training tomorrow’s leaders,” says Michel Patry, President and CEO of the HEC Montréal Foundation.
With this gift, the HEC Montréal Foundation has already reached 60% of its objective, i.e. $24 million of the $40 million target, to support the construction of the downtown building. Different initiatives will be launched over the next few months, as it continues its “Powering the Heart of Business” campaign by appealing to the HEC Montréal community and the general public.
The new building in the downtown business district, set next to St. Patrick's Basilica, is now under construction and is to open in the fall of 2022. In addition to the programs for practising executives and professionals, the Hélène Desmarais Building will house branches of several research and knowledge transfer centres and the School’s entrepreneurship and innovation facility, along with a conference centre and other community services.
HEC Montréal is an internationally renowned business school, with over 15,000 students, and trains more than 9,000 executives and managers every year. The School holds many prestigious accreditations, and offers over 100 programs of study from the bachelor’s to doctoral levels. It has 36 research chairs, including 7 Canada Research Chairs. With a faculty of 300, HEC Montréal offers programs in several languages and attracts students from 144 countries. Since its founding in 1907, the School has trained more than 100,800 students in all fields of management.
The mission of the HEC Montréal Foundation is to raise funds to support projects at the School and help train world-class future leaders who will make a significant contribution to Quebec’s social and economic development and its international renown.
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