Honouring an inspiring young woman

Planned giving
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences
In memoriam
Madeleine and Michel Desloges.
September 21 will mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Annemarie Desloges, a uOttawa health sciences alumna. Annemarie lost her life in a terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2013. She was 29 years old and was working as a diplomat with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Shortly after her death, Michel and Madeleine Desloges began the process of creating a scholarship in her name at the University of Ottawa. “The scholarship is a way for us to celebrate the young woman that she was,” says Madeleine. “She was a very generous person, always ready to help people out. This way, we can continue to offer our help, as Annemarie would have wished.” Education being a priority for the couple, the idea is to support undergraduate students with the potential, but not necessarily the means, for university studies.

Altruism, mutual aid and generosity are values firmly embedded within the DNA of the Desloges family. Michel and Madeleine served as diplomats for over 30 years. Their careers allowed them to be part of numerous missions abroad. Their two daughters, Annemarie and Julie, didn’t take long to follow in their footsteps.

During her studies at uOttawa, Annemarie worked many summer jobs for the government, which took her to places like New Delhi and Rome. These experiences gave her the desire to work in immigration. “It was a very rewarding role for her because she could offer hands-on help, particularly for refugees,” says Michel. “It was her way of making a contribution.”

Annemarie Desloges.

Family members, many friends and three federal ministries made donations when the Annemarie Desloges Scholarship was created. Michel and Madeleine, as well as Lise, Michel’s sister, subsequently confirmed planned gifts. “If Annemarie were still with us, she would receive an inheritance on our death,” says Madeleine. “So it was natural for us to leave this money as a planned gift, for the scholarship to continue to exist. This commitment also assures us that her memory will live on forever.”  

The couple hopes that the students who receive Annemarie’s scholarship will be inspired by the path their daughter took and think about paying it forward. One thing’s clear: The scholarship has a major impact, as a nutrition science student who received it in 2021–2022 can attest. “The donation is helping me achieve my dreams. I’ll always be grateful to you, and to Annemarie. We feel her presence through your generosity. I hope that one day I’ll be able to help another University of Ottawa student as you have done.”

The Desloges are also playing a key role in a project to build a memorial in Ottawa in honour of Canadians who’ve died in the course of their duties abroad. It should be unveiled in fall 2024.

Many University of Ottawa alumni have included a gift to the University and its students in their estate plans. To learn more about this type of philanthropic project, please contact us. Thank you for your support!