Member news: The Co-operators donates CAD 100,000 to support the study of alternative governance models

Monday, 26 January 2015

Last week it was announced that Canadian ICMIF member and insurance cooperative The Co-operators has made a CAD 100,000 donation to the Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business and Economics. The Co-operators provided the gift as a way of supporting the study of alternative governance models. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and special guests - including Bruce West (pictured right), MBA 2005, Executive Vice-President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer at The Co-operators - joined in the celebration.

The donation from The Co-operators is part of Laurier's Building Canada's Best Business School fundraising campaign. This campaign aims to raise CAD 55 million to support professorships, student scholarships, faculty research, new programs and construction of the Global Innovation Exchange (GIE), which will house both the School of Business & Economics and Laurier's Department of Mathematics. The gift from The Co-operators will directly support the P&G Centre for Business & Sustainability, providing financial backing for course development and student experiences surrounding BCorps (companies that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems) and cooperatives.

"Alternative governance models are gaining momentum in Canada and abroad," said West. "They represent a shift from a primary focus on building shareholder value, to a core mission of value creation for a broad set of stakeholders."

"Laurier's campaign to Build Canada's Best Business School is about taking a new approach to business education," said Micheál Kelly, Dean of Laurier's School of Business & Economics. "Our new building will be home to new programs, cutting-edge research and more resources for students. Through our donors' support, including today's gift from The Co-operators, Laurier will be home to innovative programs that will redefine business education in Canada."

"We are excited at the prospect of working with Wilfrid Laurier University," West continued. "From here emerge engaged and passionate leaders. Laurier is an important source of talent and creativity for The Co-operators." 

Today's gift builds on other donations that The Co-operators have made to Laurier, including their support of a research Chair in Insurance—one of only two such chairs in English Canada. The Co-operators also are dedicated supporters of students, hiring both coop students and 42 Laurier alumni.