Donor Community

Group of uOttawa donors at a Tabaret Society reception.

Our donors are an important part of the uOttawa story. We recognize our donor community through the Tabaret Society.

The University's leadership giving society, the Tabaret Society, was honoured to welcome 1,787 members in 2018-19.

Tabaret Society

The Tabaret Society, named after Father Joseph-Henri Tabaret, honours individuals whose generosity and commitment play a key role in educating the leaders of tomorrow. Under the leadership of the chair of the Board of Governors, Kathryn Butler Malette, Tabaret Society members are recognized for their philanthropic gifts, which advance the University’s teaching and research mission and enhance the student experience.

Members of the society have contributed $500 or more over the past fiscal year, or have given more than $100,000 over their lifetime.

The Tabaret Society is divided into three levels, based on giving focus:

  • Pillars (annual giving)
  • Circles of Distinction (lifetime giving)
  • Heritage Circle (planned giving)
Illustration showing the uOttawa Tabaret Society donation level pillars and circles of distinction.


Pillars – Annual Giving

The Pillars symbolize the vital support offered by our annual donors. Each of the categories within this giving level are named after types of pillars, many of which can be found on campus.

Solomonic – $500 -$1,999

With a twisting, contorted shaft, the Solomonic pillar evokes movement along its entire length. Solomonic pillars can be found in the original staircase of the heritage building that is home to the Development Office, at 190 Laurier Avenue East.

Romanesque – $2,000 – $4,999

This square pillar is often supported by a trapezoid-shaped base. As an architectural feature, Romanesque pillars became popular in the mid-1800s. At the University of Ottawa, similar pillars can be found in front of 70 Laurier Avenue East.

Doric – $5,000 – $9,999

Doric pillars are the oldest and simplest style of Greek pillars. Although they have no separate base, Doric pillars are slightly wider at the bottom. They have plain surfaces, while the capitals are connected to the building with abacuses. Doric pillars can be found on the Parthenon in Athens.

Corinthian – $10,000 – $24,999

Corinthian pillars have Greek architectural origins, but are also influenced by Egyptian architecture. These pillars are slender, have a decorative base and capitals carved with olive, laurel or acanthus leaves.

Ionic – $25,000 or more

The capitals of the Ionic pillar have scroll-shaped ornaments that look like ram’s horns. Ionic pillars support the ceiling of Tabaret Hall and are the inspiration for the University’s logo.

Circles of Distinction – Lifetime Giving

The Circles of Distinction honour our life-long and major donors. Donors of gifts over $100,000 are recognized as members of the Circles and each Circle of Distinction is named after an important figure in uOttawa’s history.

Guigues Circle – $100,000 to $249,999

Msgr. Joseph-Bruno Guigues, founder of the University of Ottawa.

A native of France, Msgr. Guigues was ordained as an Oblate priest in 1828. He arrived in Canada in 1844, where he was appointed provincial superior of his community. Three years later, he became the first bishop of Bytown, a position he held for more than 25 years. In 1848, he founded the College of Bytown, the precursor to the University of Ottawa.

Laflamme Circle – $250,000 to $999,999

Sister Corinne Laflamme, first woman school director, University of Ottawa.

Sister Corinne Laflamme (also known as Sister Madeleine-de-Jésus) graduated from the Ottawa General Hospital School of Nursing in 1924. In 1933, she co-founded the University of Ottawa School of Nursing and was named its director of studies. Sister Laflamme was the first woman in the University’s history to hold such a rank.

In 1959, she also became the first woman member of the University Senate. In 1963, she was given the honorary title of professor emeritus.

Henderson Circle – $1,000,000 to $4,999,999

Gordon F. Henderson, chancellor 1991 to 1993.

Gordon F. Henderson, CC, QC, served as chancellor of the University of Ottawa from 1991 until his death in 1993. Prior to serving as chancellor, he was one of the founding members of the Canadian Law Information Council, leader of the Canadian Intellectual Property Bar, founding editor of the Canadian Patent Reporter and chair of the Henderson & Herridge law firm.

He became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1977, and a Companion of the Order in 1988.

Vanier Circle – $5,000,000 to $14,999,999+

Pauline Vanier, first woman and lay chancellor.

In 1964, Madame Vanier was awarded an honorary doctorate in social sciences by the University of Ottawa. In 1966, she became the first layperson and woman to be appointed as chancellor of the University — a title she would hold until 1973. Vanier Hall honours the memory of Pauline Vanier and her husband, Georges P. Vanier, governor general of Canada from 1959 to 1967.

Guindon Circle – $15,000,000 to 24,999,999

Father Roger Guindon, first rector of the new University of Ottawa (1965).

Father Roger Guindon served as rector of the University of Ottawa from 1964 to 1984, presiding over its transition from a small private Oblate Catholic institution to a flourishing, provincially funded, public university. Under Father Guindon’s leadership, uOttawa expanded significantly, laying the foundation for our emergence as one of Canada’s great institutions of higher learning.

Besserer Circle – $25,000,000 +

Louis-Théodore Besserer, a great donor.

Louis-Théodore Besserer was a notary, businessman and political figure born in Château-Richer, Quebec, in 1785. During the War of 1812, he first served as a lieutenant in the Quebec City militia and was later promoted to captain.

In 1845, Besserer retired to a large estate he had purchased in Bytown, in the area that is now the Ottawa neighbourhood of Sandy Hill. He subdivided the property into building sites, which he then sold off, for the most part. In 1856, Monsignor Joseph-Bruno Guigues, bishop of Bytown, decided to use six lots donated by Besserer on Wilbrod Street (today called Séraphin Marion) to relocate the College of Bytown. Besserer Street, near the campus, is named after this generous donor.

Heritage Circle – Planned Giving

The Heritage Circle honours those individuals who have made pledges and other deferred gifts in their estate plans to benefit the University.

Deferred charitable gifts can take one of many forms: bequests in donors’ willslife insurance policieslife income gifts (such as trusts) or gifts of retirement funds. Once a donor confirms a deferred gift, he or she automatically becomes a member of the Heritage Circle.

Membership privileges include invitations to special events, concerts, lectures and other campus activities.

Kathryn Butler-Malette speaking at a podium.

"Your generous support of the University is helping transform the lives of students every day. You are our most valuable donors. I want to thank you"
Kathryn Butler Malette, Chair of the Board of Governors
President of Tabaret Society

Galen Boulanger.

"Your support has allowed students like myself to follow their hearts and dreams in creating a bright future for this country. Thank you for your kindness, generosity and investment in the education of young Canadians."
– Galen Boulanger, uOttawa scholarship recipient and Tabaret Society Student Ambassador

Words of thanks from scholarship recipients 

Mirna Cande.

"None of us can go far in life alone. That’s why my heart is filled with gratitude for your support and dedication to pushing and encouraging students like me to achieve more by giving us the necessary tools to help us succeed."
Mirna Cande

Jared Poole.

"Thank you so much for your generosity. This scholarship allows me to focus my energy on my studies. I hope one day to be able to give back and do the same for a student."
– Jared Poole

Natalie Schryer.

"Thank you for your generous support. These awards allow students like myself to focus on our studies, do well academically and find success inside as well as outside of the classroom."
– Natalie Schryer

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