Building a legacy

Real-estate developer Camille Villeneuve sits in front of his uOttawa honorary doctorate.

“It’s important to consider the needs we have today, but we also need to consider the future. The best universities were built through bequests.”

From behind his magnificent corner desk in his office in the Hull sector of Gatineau, Camille Villeneuve (BCom ‘67; honorary doctorate ‘96) has a wonderful view of a region he helped build—literally!

Camille Villeneuve is chair of the board of directors at Multivesco, a successful real estate development and management firm he founded 40 years ago.

“It all began at the University of Ottawa,” he says. “I’m from a modest background. But as a young person, I dreamed of accomplishing great things. And I knew very well that in order to do so, I’d need an education.”

Many years have passed since the summers he spent working in a Kapuskasing mill to pay for his tuition. Still today, he feels gratitude towards the University of Ottawa for the education he received.

Since making his first gift more than 30 years ago, Villeneuve has continued to generously support the University. Each year, numerous students benefit from the scholarship he created and his two Telfer School of Management funds—one to help students attend events like the Jeux du commerce and another to encourage entrepreneurship. However, through his bequest, it’s clear that this entrepreneur and recipient of the prestigious Meritas Tabaret for Alumni Achievement in 2017 also takes a long-term approach to building a legacy.

“It’s important to consider the needs we have today, but we also need to consider the future. The best universities were built through bequests,” he says, highlighting the importance of passing on some of what we have to people and institutions we believe in.

Should all gifts be directed to specific initiatives? Not so for this alumnus. He is leaving it to the Telfer School of Management to decide where to direct his bequest to best address the School’s priorities.

“The University trusted us as students. I think in return we need to trust the decisions the University makes,” Villeneuve says, happy to help his alma mater pave the way to a more successful future.

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