by Sigalit Hoffman
The John Molson School of Business (JMSB) paid tribute to Col. Pierre
Sévigny, P.C. O.C., V.M., by naming its international undergraduate
scholarships in his honour.
The 84-year-old war hero and former cabinet minister was touched. Its
something that happens once in a lifetime, he said.
Sévigny has been teaching at Concordia since 1967. He helped found
the Schools annual Awards of Distinction, and has been an active
fundraiser for the university. Though he retired in 1995, he returned
to Concordia two years later as visiting assistant professor in the Department
of Management. He went on to teach business administration courses for
the Finance Department.
His academic career is just part of a distinguished lifetime of service
to his country. In 1945, toward the end of the war in Europe, he lost
a leg in the battle of Hochwald Forest, and received many military decorations,
including the Virturili Militari from Poland and the Croix de Guerre from
France and Belgium.
He went on to become a successful businessman, both as an importer-exporter
and as a local real estate developer. A member of parliament from 1958
to 1963, he served as Associate Minister of National Defense in the government
of John Diefenbaker, and played a role in persuading the Canadian government
to bid on what became the hugely successful worlds fair, Expo 67.
The JMSBs decision to name the scholarship after Sévigny
was ideal, said Interim Dean Jerry Tomberlin. This was a good way
to honour him. He has done a lot of work in international finance, and
has helped us out in the business school for 34 years.
Thanks to the Pierre Sévigny Undergraduate International Scholarships,
the top 10 international business students will have half of their fees
waived. The tuition waiver is renewable throughout their course of study,
as long as they maintain a GPA of 3.75 or higher and remain full-time
International students make up nine per cent of business students at Concordia,
and they pay about $12,000 a year in tuition. I guess I can look
at this as a gift from God to help my parents and me, said Bahar
Ghiyaspur, a 20-year-old recipient. A native of Iran, Ghiyaspur said it
was difficult to finance her overseas education.
Mohammad Arshad, 18, agreed. A native of Bangladesh, he is hoping to complete
a masters degree and eventually return to his familys clothing
manufacturing company. Both students agreed that the scholarship encouraged
them to work harder. I was going to work hard anyway, but its
a motivation to keep me going, Giyaspur said.
Sévigny is glad the scholarships will be going to international
students. He has always been pained to see international students struggling
to get by, and is relieved that deserving students will have an opportunity
to focus on their studies rather than worry about their finances.
Most important to him is the sense that the scholarship is a show of friendship,
and a way to encourage students from around the world to come to Concordia.