May 20th, 2008 was a historic day at the University of Manitoba. A capacity audience gathered in Eva Clare Hall for an announcement that the Faculty of Music would be the recipient of a $20 million gift from Dr. Marcel A. Desautels and his Foundation. This is the largest gift to date to the University of Manitoba, and one of the largest in Canadian history to a department, school or faculty of music. $10 million will help fund the construction of a new state-of-the-art concert hall in the Taché Hall Complex. The remaining $10 million will create an endowment fund in support of student awards and faculty research.
Since 2008, each annual $2 million instalment of the $10 million Marcel A. Desautels Endowment Fund has had an immediate and tremendous impact. We are rapidly positioning ourselves to offer the most generous student and faculty support in the country. To date, over 100 students have benefitted from Dr. Desautels’ generosity. Each day is a celebration and realization of the significance of this gift on our current students and faculty, and all future generations at the Desautels Faculty of Music.
Furthermore, our benefactor happens to be a passionate and highly gifted musician who understands and supports our mission and vision. It is a great honour that our Faculty bears his name.
Dr. Edmund Dawe, Dean
May 2009, Rideau Hall, Ottawa: Marcel A. Desautels receives the Order of Canada from her Excellency, Governor General Michaelle Jean