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Michel Prévost sitting at his desk in front of a bookcase full of books.
Michel Prévost (MA [history] ’85, BA ’79, BSocSc ’78), uOttawa chief archivist for nearly 30 years, is undoubtedly one of the leading ambassadors of this university, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year.

With a passion for Franco-Ontarian and local history, Michel is president of the Société d’histoire de l’Outaouais, an author, a speaker and a columnist. The guided tours he leads to educate people and to raise their awareness of the region’s heritage also keep him very busy.

“The University of Ottawa is practically my whole life,” says Michel, who first set foot at uOttawa at the age of 18. “I still remember my first class and the pride I felt to be at university and studying in French.” During his career, he never lost that pride. It’s even more present today, as he knows that he’s making a real impact on the paths of many students through two awards he’s established: the Michel Prévost Bursary in Regional Studies and the Michel Prévost Award of Excellence. The two major reasons for Michel offering this financial support were to highlight the region’s history and heritage and to promote francophone life.

In fact, one of the bursary recipients, Kathleen Durocher, has written a book  painting a picture of the matchmakers who worked at the E. B. Eddy factory in Hull and their living and working conditions. “Supporting the next generation in my field is very satisfying for me,” says Michel. “It gives me enormous pleasure to see that students who receive my awards publish books, articles, offer guided tours, volunteer, etc.”

As Kathleen Durocher, recipient of the Michel Prévost Bursary in Regional Studies and author of the book Pour sortir les allumettières de l’ombre, says “Receiving the bursary likely gave me the needed motivation to document, analyze and share individuals’ diverse historical realities hiding behind the myths deeply rooted in our regional collective memory,”

Having benefitted himself from financial aid when he started his master’s, Michel knows just how much of a difference this type of support can make. “For me, the Arthur Pinard award meant encouragement. So the day that I could begin to get involved, I told myself: It’s my turn to give.” Since then, working with the gift planning team, he’s taken the necessary steps to ensure that his philanthropic commitment is lasting.

Michel Prévost has received many awards during his career in recognition of his work as a historian and an archivist and his involvement in philanthropy. In 2022, the University of Ottawa Alumni Association gave him its Award for Commitment to the University, to mark his many contributions to this institution over 45 years.

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!