12 reasons to take pride in a banner year for the Campaign for Concordia

Gifts to advance underserved students and experiential learning bolstered the university’s most ambitious campaign to date
December 14, 2021
By Ian Harrison, BComm 01


In a year that saw the Concordia community welcome a return to campuses and classrooms, donor generosity propelled the Campaign for Concordia to new heights.

“Our supporters — whether they gave $1 million or $1 — stepped up in a big way in 2021,” says Paul Chesser, vice-president, Advancement. “And the good news is that we expect this positive momentum to continue well into 2022.”

Here are 12 reasons why 2021 was a banner year for Concordia’s most ambitious fundraising effort to date:

Nadia Chaudhri,

Nadia Chaudhri’s remarkable courage

The 32nd edition of Shuffle raised close to $700,000 for scholarships, bursaries and student resources and services.

The record-breaking total was boosted by the astonishing efforts of the late Nadia Chaudhri, a Department of Psychology professor who captured the hearts of millions with her pledge to walk the length of her palliative care unit in support of Concordia’s annual walkathon.


A record-breaking #GivingTuesday

Thanks to countless donors who gave generously for Giving Tuesday on November 30, $385,000 — a record total — will go to more than 60 Concordia programs and initiatives, most notably the Concordia Stingers and the Student Emergency and Food Fund.

Concordia Golf Classic

The return of the Classic

After a COVID-19-related hiatus, the Concordia Golf Classic returned stronger than ever in September.

The event raised $400,000 for student scholarships — the second-highest amount in the tournament’s history. This brings the event’s cumulative total to $6.4 million since 1990.

Social Justice Centre

Calgary donor commits to social justice

The Flanagan Foundation, which helped launch Concordia’s Social Justice Centre with a gift of $200,000 in 2019, further committed to the critical work advanced by the centre with $1 million in support of fellowships, research and social justice-related programs.

The gift was inspired by the activism of the late Barry Pashak, whose daughter, Natasha Pashak, MA 10, is a Concordia graduate and co-director of the Flanagan Foundation.

Karna and Jaydeep Gupta

A brother gives back

With a major gift of $335,000, Karna Gupta, BComm 77, MBA 79, established the Jaydeep Gupta Bursary for Women in Finance. The generous support for female Department of Finance students at the John Molson School of Business is a tribute to Karna’s brother, the late Jaydeep Gupta, BA 82, MBA 84.

“It’s something Jaydeep would have loved,” said Karna Gupta. “He always championed career opportunities for youth and particularly women.”

Fine Arts students

Recognition for fine-arts students

A $2-million gift from the Doggone Foundation, established by the late Elspeth McConnell, further bolstered valuable internships for talented young creatives through the Elspeth McConnell Fine Arts Awards and funded the new annual $10,000 Bill McLennan Northwest Coast Travel Award, which will allow a full-time graduate student to develop knowledge of Northwest Coast art-making and Indigenous cultures.

Experiential learning

RBC endorses experiential learning

A gift of $1 million from the RBC Foundation advanced two critical programs at Concordia — non-profit work terms offered through the Institute for Co-operative Education and internships facilitated by Beat the Odds, a program first piloted by the Experiential Learning Office in 2020.

“RBC’s support will promote inclusiveness and address challenges often encountered by international, Black and Indigenous students, refugees, people of colour, students with significant financial challenges, students who are parents and students with disabilities,” noted Nadia Bhuiyan, BEng 95, vice-provost of partnerships and experiential learning.

Experiential learning

Real-world tools for real-estate students

Altus Group, the owner of ARGUS, the gold standard in real-estate asset and portfolio management software, contributed software licenses worth $1.04 million for two courses offered by the Jonathan Wener Centre for Real Estate.

The gift was facilitated by Concordia graduate Robert Courteau, BComm 81, LLD 11, Altus Group’s CEO from 2012 to 2020.


Support for startups to scale up

A gift of $2 million from National Bank accelerated MentorConnect, a program that provides mutually beneficial mentorships for startup entrepreneurs through District 3 Innovation Hub.

Combined with support previously announced in 2014, National Bank’s total donation to the Campaign for Concordia to support entrepreneurship-related initiatives is now at $3 million.

L. Jacques Ménard

New centre honours Great Concordian

The late L. Jacques Ménard, BComm 67, LLD 06, winner of the Loyola Medal in 1999 for service to Concordia and society, was honoured with BMO Financial Group’s $2.5-million gift to establish the L. Jacques Ménard–BMO Centre for Capital Markets.

The gift also supported the new BMO Fine Arts Internship Program at the Faculty of Fine Arts.

Experiential learning

Land-based learning for Indigenous youth

Concordia’s Indigenous Land-Based Education Program, an initiative that fosters Indigenous leadership and community development, received $471,033 in visionary support from the Chamandy Foundation, a private family foundation established in Montreal in 2015.

George Lengvari

Hoop dreams come true

George Lengvari, BA 63, a Concordia Sports Hall of Famer, namesake of the George Lengvari Cup and one of the university’s most dedicated supporters, made history in December with a $2-million gift to boost basketball at Concordia and McGill. The joint gift, to be split evenly by both schools, is believed to be the first of its kind in the history of Canadian university sports.

Lengvari was inspired to strengthen his commitment to his alma maters after receiving the inaugural U SPORTS Mitchell Family Alumni of the Year Award in May. The award was created to celebrate former Canadian university athletes who make impactful contributions to their schools and communities.

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