Fundraising is critical to offering new opportunities at Desautels. Whether creating entrance awards, bursaries or fellowships for new students, or developing an entirely new program or academic building, our generous donors shape our future.

Student experience and the Desautels Fund

Desautels offers a rigorous curriculum taught by award-winning professors, as well as access to career services and experiential learning opportunities. Today, we’re stronger than ever, thanks to contributions from over 1,000 donors to the Desautels Fund. The Fund channels the support of alumni, parents and friends into opportunities that enrich the learning experience and boost our students’ skills and visibility—and, by extension, our own reputation.

Photo: Marcel Desautels, CM, O. Ont., LLD'07, with his student award recipients (2016)

Marcel Desautels, CM, O. Ont., LLD'07, with his student award recipients (2016)


$160,000raised from over 200 donors
30%donations came from first-time donors
20%of donations from young alumni

Desautels participated for the second time in the annual McGill24 giving campaign. The university raised $1.39 million, with Desautels raising more than $160,000 from over 200 donors. What these simple stats do not say is that almost 30% of the donations came from first-time donors and 20% from young alumni!

The MBA Next 50 Campaign and a new home for our Masters programs

MBA Next 50

After years of steady growth, our MBA clearly needed to expand.

We took over the vacated McGill bookstore and began a $17.6 million renovation, funded by the MBA Next 50 Campaign. The new home for our MBA and specialized MBA programs will be named in honour of our MBA’s founding director, Donald E. Armstrong.

The Campaign has so far raised $14.586 million, for 26 named spaces, 117 named lockers and 33 new MBA awards. A celebration for the closing of the campaign is planned for May 25-26, 2018.

The impact of financial contributions

The Bensadoun School of Retail Management

In May 2017, retail icon and philanthropist, Aldo Bensadoun (BCom ’64, LLD ’12) stepped forward with a visionary gift to his alma mater, aimed at creating new knowledge and developing leaders for the rapidly changing retail industry. Thanks to a donation of $25 million from the Bensadoun Family Foundation, McGill will work on developing the Bensadoun School of Retail Management: an inter-disciplinary, state-of-the-art school dedicated to all facets of the retail industry. Learn more

Aldo Bensadoun

Jaclyn Fisher Management Career Fair

Larry (BCom’77, DPA’79), Rina (Med’88), and Rachel Fisher (MDCM’06) named the Management Career Fair and two new awards in memory of daughter and sister Jaclyn Fisher, who passed away in 2015. The first Jaclyn Fisher Management Career Fair took place September 16, bringing 52 companies and approximately 600 student attendees.

Marcel Desautels

In October, Marcel Desautels contributed a further $1 million to several awards that bear his name:

  • Marcel A. Desautels Leadership Scholarship
  • Marcel A. Desautels Prestige Entrance Scholarship
  • Marcel A. Desautels MBA Fellowships
  • Marcel A. Desautels Doctoral Fellowship

Marcel Desautels

Michel Pettigrew

Ferring Canada

Ferring Canada made a $1 million donation to establish the Ferring Fellowships in Health Leadership and to help grow our learning facilities. The Fellowships are earmarked for incoming graduate students in the International Masters for Health Leadership program.

Donor funds help students explore sustainability

Aman Arora, MBA’18Second-year MBA student Aman Arora is thankful for what donor generosity has helped him accomplish at Desautels, and how it will continue to have an impact long after he graduates.

“As the recipient of the Adam Dinkes MBA Leadership Award in 2016-17,” Aman said, “donor support has allowed me to focus stress-free on my MBA experience and given me the confidence in my abilities to achieve my goals. My vision after the MBA is to revolutionize the medical education space in India by facilitating tablet education in medical schools in tier-two and tier-three cities. This technology can help elevate poor healthcare standards and attract more students to pursue medical education.”

The donor-enabled Desautels Fund also allowed Aman and several teammates to compete at the Business for a Better World case competition in Davos, Switzerland in January. Their entry was a design for a global equity portfolio that advances the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and was awarded second place. Aman has said that the event has given him “the experience and exposure I need to thrive in the business world.”