History of the Associates of the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba

In the early 1980's, former Dean Roland Grandpre saw the potential of establishing firm linkages between the business community and the business school. A prominent business leader, Jack Fraser joined in the Dean's idea.

Dean Grandpre's philosophy was that it was not possible to have a world class business school without a close relationship between the School and business community leaders.

The Associates Program was the mechanism developed to garner the support of the local business community.

The first year target was 100 members and was achieved on the date of the first Annual General Meeting in November with the help of a group of the top businessmen including Albert Cohen, Del Crewson, Kerry Hawkins, Kevin Kavanagh, James Pitblado, George Richardson, Gary Steiman, Donald Swanson, and Arni Thorsteinson. Since that time, membership has grown to over 270 members and a companion group, the Young Associates, was started in 1992 and with over 70 members.

The impact of the Associates on the success of the business school is easily seen. Over the years, the Associates have either contributed or been instrumental in levering over $40 million in financial contributions. They have continually invested time and financial resources in developing a top quality business school and these efforts are paying off handsomely...

In 1999, the School achieved international accreditation, establishing it as one of the top one-third of all business schools in North America and one of only five Canadian schools to have achieved this status at that time.

Today, the Associates are a major asset to the Asper School of Business. The Program allows the business community the opportunity to make a large and direct contribution to the business school's direction, preparing the business leaders of tomorrow.

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