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Jean Gaulin, a committed donor

July 2, 2015, 12:24pm

On June 11, an event was held to honour Jean Gaulin, a long-standing friend of HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and the Université de Montréal. Since 1989, Mr. Gaulin has donated some $1 million in support of the three institutions. In recognition of his generosity, Polytechnique, his alma mater, has named a laboratory after him in the Chemistry Department, where he studied. The facility is now known as Laboratoire Jean Gaulin, Po 67.

The loyalty and generosity shown towards the institutions by this member of the Campus Montréal executive cabinet merit special thanks. His philanthropic commitment and remarkable career make him an outstanding model for the next generation.

An inspiring global career

The career of Jean Gaulin is directly linked to the exceptional growth of Ultramar. Initially the head of the Saint-Romuald refinery, Mr. Gaulin held key positions in the company throughout his career. He enabled Ultramar to maintain its operations in Canada and its head office in Montreal. His progressive, ambitious projects made him a forerunner in the industry, and he is living proof of the extent to which Quebec know-how can excel on the world stage.

His brilliant career has been acknowledged on many occasions by a number of other organizations as well, including the Association des Diplômés de Polytechnique (Prix Mérite, 1990) and HEC Montréal (honorary doctorate, 2001). In 2001, the Ultramar refinery in Saint-Romuald was renamed the Jean-Gaulin Refinery. And in 2004, the Quebec government recognized him with the prestigious title of Officer of the Ordre national du Québec.

An exceptional philanthropist

The contribution of Jean Gaulin, not only to the institutions themselves but also to the major campaign’s flagship projects, such as IRIC and the Carabins, goes well beyond financial support, as he is also actively involved on a personal level with the Friends of our three institutions.

Mr. Gaulin sees it as vital to ensure that our institutions have a firm footing within the North American philanthropic network and that our graduates living in the U.S. are able to remain connected to their alma mater. This philanthropic effort is essential for these graduates, who are distinguishing themselves internationally and in doing so have become excellent ambassadors for our institutions.

A model of success

Jean Gaulin has long applauded the quality of education offered by our institutions. He is quick to point out that the training he acquired at École Polytechnique is on a par with or indeed exceeds that provided by the world’s top engineering schools. I for one can affirm that his impressive career is an apt reflection of the rigorous and ambitious educational standards at École Polytechnique. As a businessman, he was always willing to dare, innovate and invent. Today, he applies this same vision to academic philanthropy, one of the most beneficial and important causes of today’s society. For all of these reasons, not only is Mr. Gaulin a role model for the generations to come, he is also an example of success for current students. I thank him for his unflagging belief in the transformative power of knowledge and for the energy and passion he pours into increasing this power for us all.

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