Pierre Lassonde to receive Honorary Doctorate

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“My projects are all about students – giving them a tremendous university experience and a life experience so they are able to go out there and fulfill themselves. But my gifts are also about helping the next generation of Canadians fulfill their dreams and continue to make Canada one of the best places to live in the world. The most important natural resource of our country is not its oil or minerals or forests, but our young people” - Pierre Lassonde

Pierre Lassonde will received his degree at Convocation on Friday June 13 

Our founding donor Pierre Lassonde will receive an Honorary Doctorate from York University on Friday this week.

The ceremony will take place at 3.30PM on Friday, June 13 at the Rexall Centre here at York University. M. Lassonde will deliver the Convocation Address to all graduands and their families.

This is a very special moment for everyone at the Lassonde School of Engineering and across the University. Without Pierre this School simply wouldn't be here today and our incredible plans for the future would just be a pipe dream. He is a generous supporter, a role model and a great friend to all Lassonde community members.


Dr. Pierre Lassonde

« Les affaires, ce n’est pas une fin en soi. Quand tu as réussi, il faut que tu te rendes utile et que tu en fasses profiter les autres. »

Pierre Lassonde’s own words sum up his approach to life. His philanthropic commitment is uncompromising and his passion for investing in Canada’s future is unrelenting.

Pierre’s $25 million donation to establish the Lassonde School of Engineering is a transformative gift that has given us the resources and the confidence to make York University a truly world class centre for engineering education.

Most importantly of all, his generosity will transform the lives of our students. The vast majority of his gift is devoted to creating Canada’s top scholarships for student engineers. His legacy will not be ivory towers emblazoned with his name, it will be in the minds and in the hearts of students surpassing their dreams and leading our country into the second half of this century.

Pierre Lassonde’s gift to York is a very special one, his impact on the University and its vision for the Lassonde School of Engineering extends much further than the monetary value of his investment. He has been an equally generous leader and active participant in the planning phase of the new School. His insights on how our new program can be responsive to the future needs of the engineering profession have been truly invaluable.

M. Lassonde’s generosity to York University is the latest in a series of investments he has made to make lives better and to empower a new generation to be bold and to seize the future for themselves and for our country.

In 1993, Mr. Lassonde established The Lassonde Family Foundation to support charitable projects and this has led to the contribution of millions to various institutions related to the arts, education and health. M. Lassonde has donated to the likes of SickKids and the Canadian Red Cross Fund for Haiti Relief in an effort to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

In addition, as a great patron of the arts, M. Lassonde and his family’s foundation have contributed to Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal recognizing the value of art and its place in society.

Most notable is M. Lassonde’s passion to support education. He has supported elementary institutions, such as the girls of St. Clements and The Bishop Strachan School, to those in post-secondary studies at École Polytechnique de Montréal, Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, Western University and the University of Utah in the United States, as well as here at York University.

Pierre Lassonde’s philanthropic legacy is profound. His gifts have had a significant impact at a number of Universities in Canada and the United States; on arts and culture; and on community based projects – all of which have occurred nationally and internationally. Each worthy cause has been tremendously affected by his leadership, charisma, and selfless devotion to making a difference and building a better future.

Thank you Dr. Lassonde, we look forward to celebrating this richly-deserved recognition.

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