Calin Rovinescu, the president and chief executive officer of Air Canada and his wife, Elaine, have created a scholarship fund for first-generation Canadians, looking to pursue post-secondary studies at the University of Ottawa and l’Université de Montréal.
On Thursday, Calin and Elaine Rovinescu announced that the Rovinescu Admission Scholarships for new Canadians, would go to undergraduate and professional degree students at both the University of Ottawa and Université de Montréal. The $200,000,000 donation, will be split equally between the two universities.
"My parents came to Canada from Romania when I was five years old with nothing more than $60 and a few suitcases of clothes. What they had of value was what was in their heads,” says Calin, adding, “Their extensive university and professional education is what enabled them to quickly thrive in their new country. It also underscored the importance of providing their children with the same higher education opportunities in their new country. As the beneficiary of these opportunities I am proud to work with my two alma maters, l’Université de Montréal and the University of Ottawa, and to offer new Canadians opportunities to seize those same prospects and make a valuable contribution to Canada in their own unique way."
Scholarship will be awarded to students from bachelor programs and professional degrees who qualify for financial assistance, but will also take into account grades, community, social, sports and other extracurricular involvement. These scholarships are meant to help hundreds of young people whose families have immigrated to Canada while encouraging them to pursue higher education and reach their true potential.
"Canada has been built by immigrants from so many countries, each contributing in her or his way. Times have never been more challenging for some immigrant families, so as we invest in and support our scholars, we look forward to helping the next generation of builders in Canada," says Elaine.
Calin holds a Civil Law degree from the Université de Montréal (1978) and a Common Law degree from the University of Ottawa (1980). In 2014, he received an honorary doctorate degree from both universities in 2014. He is also the 14th Chancellor of the University of Ottawa following his installation in November 2015.