Odette family gift of $3 million to expand School of Business

The University of Windsor will once again benefit from the generosity of the LL Odette and the EG Odette families with a donation of $3 million towards the expansion of the Odette School of Business. When added to the family’s previous support of more than $7 million for capital and academic projects, including donated artwork, they have become the University’s top supporters, contributing a total of more than $10 million.

“The University of Windsor is grateful for the extraordinary support of the Odette family which has shared our vision, and has allowed the university to provide an exceptional experience not only for our business students, but for the entire campus,” said President Alan Wildeman.

Allan Conway, dean of the Odette School of Business, said, “The Odette family’s generosity over the past 20 years has already enhanced the development of 10,000 proud Odette alumni who are excelling in many different fields. This current donation will allow the Odette School of Business to strengthen our students’ leadership development even more and, partly as a consequence, to increase our regional, national, and international impact.”

A statement issued by the Odette family read: “We are all very excited to be a part of a project that will define the profile of the business school moving forward.”

The donation will finance the renovation of the 15,600 square feet in the Odette Building currently occupied by the University Bookstore. Plans are underway to identify a new location for the bookstore. The renovations will provide space for several new centres for entrepreneurship and innovation, classrooms, small meeting rooms and individual study areas.

The University’s Board of Governors passed a motion at its meeting Tuesday to issue a request for proposals for the Odette Business School renovations as well as a design/build contractor for a new Welcome Centre to be located at the corner of Wyandotte Street and Sunset Avenue.

The centre is envisioned as a two-storey office building of approximately 20,000 square feet. In addition to a reception area, it is expected to house offices for student admissions and recruitment, advancement and alumni affairs, and a retail space selling UWindsor merchandise. The Welcome Centre is estimated to cost $8 million and will be financed by consolidating activities that are housed in leased space off-campus. The vacated drama building located in this area will be demolished this summer to make way for the new construction.

The construction of both the Odette Business School expansion and the Welcome Centre is expected to begin later this year.