$5.5M gift launches Western University student-entrepreneur program

Western University is using a multi-million-dollar gift from an alumnus to help students turn their studies into successful businesses.

Pierre Morrissette, executive chairman of Pelmorex Corp. and graduate of Ivey Business School, is donating $5.5 million to support entrepreneurial research, education and programming for students across every faculty, not Western’s business school.

“Entrepreneurship has been very successful at Ivey,” Morrisette said in a statement Thursday.

“Now we’re going to take that energy and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship across all faculties, providing an opportunity for students in engineering, in health sciences, in music, to create businesses, to commercialize knowledge and to convert that energy into realizable success.”

Western itself is chipping in another $2.5 million, creating a total fund of $8 million to support students through the newly founded Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship. Western’s president, Alan Shephard, said developing entrepreneurial skills among students is “a priority.”

Morrissette has now given more than $10 million to Western University. A 1972 graduate of Ivey business school, he has also served as chair of Ivey’s advisory board. His company, Pelmorex, is focused on weather information and owns The Weather Network.

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