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Montreal–New York: cities without borders

November 2, 2015, 4:19pm

Campus Montréal is really in full swing. We’re already two-thirds of the way to achieving our fundraising goal, and corporate and individual commitments keep rolling in. What’s our secret? Our very own HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and Université de Montréal graduates. They’re Campus Montréal’s best ambassadors and proof of what we do best: prepare our students for success.

The links we have with our graduates are like strong family ties. So when graduate Jean-Claude Lauzon, Quebec Delegate General in New York, decided to invite Campus family graduates in the Big Apple for a get-together to bring each other up to speed, remember the good old student days, and share our visions of where we’d like to see the Campus be in the years to come, I told Jean-Claude to count me in.

Even though I know New York like the back of my hand, I was still struck by the vitality of our graduate community there. From the sheer diversity of the career paths this impressive crowd had chosen to make their mark, I began to understand how our businesses can thrive in so many different sectors at the same time. Our graduates shine because they are true citizens of the world. They stand out for their ability to work in any environment and in at least two languages, while embracing the rich cultural mix New York is famous for. And if you can make it there…

Had Jean Gaulin, a great friend of Campus Montréal, and long established in the US, not explained the situation to me using his own experience as a reference, I would have been surprised to hear why our graduates are the envy of graduates from other world-class educational institutions. I was touched by how proud our New York Campus graduates are. I was even more touched to see how willing they are to give back to their alma mater – despite the distance – so that other talents get the same chance they had.

My Campus Montréal colleagues in the development departments of our three institutions didn’t need to hear another word from me to double their enthusiasm for communicating with their graduates and ramping up support for our united fundraising efforts. We’ll continue strengthening ties with our global alumni network to that end as the campaign goes forward.

You could say that “Many talents. One planet” disproves the old “Out of sight, out of mind” saying and replaces it with “You can take the graduate out of Montreal but you can’t take Montreal out of our graduate.” It’s a lot like Montreal International’s Ambassadors Network. As a “Top 10” world university city, Montreal’s major campus network shines a global spotlight on all its graduates. And our graduates shine a global spotlight on Campus Montréal, too.

Photo credit: Josh Wong Photography

Photo caption (left to right): Gil Desautels, Interim Executive Director, Development Office and Alumni Relations, Pierre de Ravel d’Esclapon, President, Friends of UdeM, Jean-Claude Lauzon, Delegate General of Quebec in New York, Dr Guy Breton, Rector (UdeM)
Louise Roy, Chancellor (UdeM), Diane de Champlain, President and CEO, Fondation de Polytechnique, Thierry Vandal, Co-chair of Campus Montréal, Mélanie Gagnon, Director of Corporate Donations, Fondation HEC Montréal.

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