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CIBC champions equity, diversity and inclusion with major gift to the Campaign for Concordia

$500,000 supports a suite of scholarships for business, engineering and computer science students
December 7, 2023
By Ian Harrison, BComm 01

3 students of diverse backgrounds meet around a table with papers and pens

Students from marginalized backgrounds are at the heart of a major gift from CIBC to the Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen Now.

The North American financial institution has donated $500,000 to establish a suite of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) scholarships at the John Molson School of Business and the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

The initiative will seek to empower women students, students of colour, Indigenous students, students with disabilities and students from the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. Select recipients may also have the opportunity to complete a paid internship at CIBC through the Office of Experiential Learning and Co-operative Education.

“EDI is much more than an acronym at Concordia,” says President Graham Carr. “Equity, diversity and inclusion underpins our approach to teaching, learning and research. Broadening access to key areas of study and welcoming a wider range of perspectives at our John Molson and Gina Cody schools will drive knowledge and progress in a good direction. We thank CIBC for its generosity that will change the lives of our students and have a beneficial impact beyond our campuses.”

CIBC’s gift, to be divided equally between the two schools and disbursed over a period of three years, will annually support:

Each undergraduate scholarship will be annually worth $5,000; the annual amount for the graduate scholarship is $7,500.

“CIBC is proud to team up with Concordia to help create a better tomorrow for the univeristy’s students and for society as a whole,” says Rosa Trunzo, Senior Vice-President and Region Head,  Eastern Canada Region, Personal Banking, CIBC.

“Inclusion is the cornerstone of our bank’s culture and diversity our greatest strength. We are pleased to have this opportunity to help remove barriers to education and career ambitions for so many students, especially at a next-generation university long committed to EDI.”

The first wave of CIBC scholarship recipients have already felt the impact of the bank’s generosity.

“The scholarship has significantly alleviated the financial burden associated with my education,” says Mary Acquah, a current graduate student at the Gina Cody School. “The impact of CIBC’s generosity has instilled a profound sense of gratitude and a desire to give back. I’m determined to make the most of this invaluable opportunity.”

CIBC has an established track record of support at Concordia, notes Paul Chesser, BA 94, GrDip 97, vice-president of University Advancement.

“Our institution has been fortunate to have such a dedicated partner,” he says. “CIBC supports our annual Concordia Golf Classic, whose co-presidents include alumnus Demo Trifonopoulos, BComm 85, a vice-president at CIBC Quebec. The CIBC Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurship and Family Business that the bank has funded continues to further the field of management.

“This latest gift underlines how tremendously grateful we are to have the support of an organization like CIBC.”

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