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Saint Paul University receives a donation of $200,000 from Desjardins Group


Ottawa, November 16, 2017 – Desjardins Group confirmed today a donation of $200,000 to Saint Paul University (SPU). This donation will assist with the development of the Desjardins Room, located in the Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Workshop, which has been under construction since summer 2017, and with the granting of ten scholarships of $10,000 in social innovation. These scholarships will be for Indigenous students, first-generation students and/or students from developing countries. The scholarships will be the largest ones in SPU’s history.

This donation was made possible thanks to the combined contributions of seven Desjardins caisses populaires in Ontario, the Fédération des caisses populaires de l’Ontario and Desjardins Group. The financial arrangements are completed by a contribution from a new $100 million Fund that Desjardins recently established. With a decidedly modern architectural design, the new Desjardins Room will be the largest of the Workshop’s three rooms, with seating for 40 people and standing room for 80.

“We are very grateful for this major donation that witnesses to the long-standing relationship between our two organizations and the shared values among Desjardins Group, Saint Paul University, the Élisabeth-Bruyère School of Social Innovation and the Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Workshop. The Workshop is a meeting point for university research projects on social innovation and collective action. Its objective is clear: to promote social change and participate in reducing poverty. This donation will enable us to give scholarships to fund projects carried out by student members of the Workshop – who are students of the Élisabeth-Bruyère School of Social Innovation,” said Chantal Beauvais, rector of Saint Paul University.

“Saint Paul University and Desjardins Group are natural partners,” emphasized Guy Cormier, president and CEO of Desjardins. “The School and Workshop for Social Innovation are Canadian leaders when it comes to post-secondary education in social innovation. They make a difference in people’s life by supporting entrepreneurial and social initiatives. All this links to the values of Desjardins Group, whose raison d’être consists of improving the economic and social well-being of people and communities.”

“These scholarships will allow the Workshop to pursue part of its mission, which is to support the development of social enterprises in their incubation or start-up stage,” added Anahi Morales Hudon, assistant professor in the Élisabeth-Bruyère School of Social Innovation.

About Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the sixth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $276.3 billion. It has been rated one of the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Counted among the World’s Strongest Banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.

About the $100M Desjardins Group Fund
In November 2016, Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada, announced the creation of a $100M Fund, spread over three years, for Québec and Ontario. Its aim is to support and promote, among other things, initiatives and projects related to Desjardins Group’s socioeconomic mission: entrepreneurship, education, social responsibility, sustainable development and people’s stewardship of various sectors.

About the Élisabeth-Bruyère School of Social Innovation
The Élisabeth-Bruyère School of Social Innovation is the first school of its kind in Canada. Its approach to social innovation is clear: it must aim for social transformation. Its pedagogical approach is rooted in the practical, through block teaching and the integration of the Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Workshop.

About Saint Paul University
Saint Paul University is the founding college (1848) of the University of Ottawa, with which it has been federated since 1965. Bilingual and on a human scale, it offers programs in social communication, counselling and psychotherapy, canon law, public ethics, conflict studies, social innovation, philosophy, human relations, and theology.



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Saint Paul University
Rafaëlle Devine
Communications officer
Recruitment and Communications Services
613 222-7345

Desjardins Group
Richard Lacasse, spokesperson
Public relations 
418 835-8444 or 1 866 835-8444, ext. 5563163

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