The Friend of Education Award, supported by The Offord Group, recognizes outstanding service or commitment to post-secondary or independent school education by a volunteer, organization, foundation, corporation or publication. The recipient will have made a significant contribution in a leadership role to the cause of institutional advancement or education in Canada. This award is made possible by The Offord Group.
Fondation J.-Louis Lévesque and Suzanne Lévesque
Established in 1961, the Fondation J.-Louis Lévesque has had a major impact on university teaching and research in Canada. The Foundation has provided tens of millions of dollars in financial aid while supporting faculty research and networking in over 15 universities across Eastern Canada and Quebec.
For its major financial support of teaching and research, collaborative and innovative values, and ability to attract philanthropists to support education, CCAE is proud to recognize the Fondation J.-Louis Lévesque, along with President and Trustee of the past 30 years, Suzanne Lévesque, with the 2015 CCAE Friend of Education Award, supported by The Offord Group.
The Fondation J.-Louis Lévesque was created on December 15, 1961 with $50,000 in assets. In 2015, the Foundation has reached nearly 100 million dollars in capitalization. Up to the year 1994, the bulk of donations to the Foundation were directed to the Fonds de recherche de l'Institut de cardiologie de Montréal (FRICM - Cardiology Research Fund) and the Université de Moncton.
In 1980, the Foundation created the Fondation J.-Louis Lévesque's Award of Merit. This prize was awarded annually for a period of 10 years, to honour the philanthropic work of a Canadian citizen for exceptional achievements in the arts, environmental and social development, charitable works, medical or scientific research and educational services.
Since the beginning, the President of the Fondation J.-Louis Lévesque has been faithful to the family's philosophy: concentrate donations in order to maximize results and build up sufficient capital to ensure sustainable aid over time.
Starting in 1995, approximately 20 large capitalization funds for the advancement of medical science have been created. The endowment funds, laboratories funded and Chairs named in memory of J.-Louis Lévesque and his wife Jeanne (the parents of current President, Suzanne Lévesque) encompass Ophthalmology, Genetics of Brain Diseases, Cardiology, Cancer Research, Radiobiology, Perinatology, Nutriscience and Health Research in Marine Natural Products, Immunovirology, Systems Biology, Psychosocial Oncology, Mental Health, Neural Circuit Development and Related Impairments of Energy Balance, Genetics of Brain Diseases, Alzheimer’s Disease, Reproductive Health and Infertility, Schizophrenia, and more.
Suzanne Lévesque has been the driving force behind the creation of a network of exceptional researchers and professors who, for the past 10 years, have formed an extraordinary scientific community. Ms Lévesque has demonstrated her deep conviction that education and research broaden horizons.
Suzanne Lévesque is a member of the Honorary Committee for Campagne Campus Montréal, conducted by the Université de Montréal and its affiliated schools. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2004. In 2008, the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Medicine awarded her its Medal of Honour.
Ms. Lévesque holds Honorary Doctorates from the Université de Moncton (1998), University of Prince Edward Island (2006) and Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia (2011). In 2013, she was named a member of the Advisory Group of the Canadian Judicial Council.
Nominator Chantal Thomas, Director of Development and Alumni Relations atUniversité de Montréal, noted:
“The Fondation J.-Louis Lévesque instituted a dynamic network of approximately fifty professors and researchers supported by the foundation in 2006. The network assembled scientists who maintain connections for research collaboration and allowed for high-level mentorship and the publication of joint research studies. This has also facilitated fruitful collaborations to stimulate innovation in university teaching and research.”
Wrote Emmanuel Bujold, MD, MSc, FRCSC, Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jeanne et Jean-Louis Lévesque Research Chair in Perinatology in the Faculty of Medicine at Université Laval:
“Beyond the financial support that she provided for us, she constantly encouraged scientific initiatives and cooperation between researchers, taking an interest in progress great and small of those she supported across Canada, and she became a true partner in our mission of expanding medical knowledge.
“A great philanthropist, Mme Lévesque is above all a compassionate woman who believes firmly that teaching and research have the power to improve society today and in the future in all aspects.”