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student working at data analytics workstationA donation from the Odette family foundations will kickstart fundraising for a state-of-the-art Data Analytics Teaching Lab at the Odette School of Business.

Matching pledge commitment to support new business teaching lab

A fundraising campaign for a state-of-the-art Data Analytics Teaching Lab at the Odette School of Business has received a $350,000 matching gift from the E. & G. Odette Foundation and the P & L Odette Charitable Foundation.

The Odette School of Business launched a $700,000 philanthropic campaign earlier this year with the goal of transforming its multipurpose computer lab into a premier Data Analytics Teaching Lab. The lab will support the school’s new undergraduate and graduate specializations in data analytics and increase its ability to recruit top business students and faculty from around the world.

“The use of a state-of-the-art computing lab is a fundamental need for our students,” said dean Mitchell Fields. “Data analytics has become an important driver for all programs at the graduate and undergraduate level at the Odette School of Business. As the use and availability of data explodes, business students require the skills to analyze and understand large data sets. Our vision is to create a lab that is among the best in all Canada.”

The lab will include 50 cutting-edge workstations, new monitor systems, advanced teaching technologies, high-end processors, high-speed wiring, and industry leading software. In addition to providing teaching support, potential uses of the lab may include but are not limited to research projects, case competitions, outreach events, and in-house club competitions. The total campaign will see the school raise $1.1 million, with the University of Windsor internally providing $370,000 in capital funding to kick it off.

The Odette School of Business is looking to its alumni and stakeholders to join the fundraising campaign. Donations to the initiative will be generously matched by the family foundations of Edmond and Gloria Odette, and Patricia and Louis Odette, who are also the school’s named benefactors.

“As a practitioner in the field of data analytics, I took part in the school’s external consultation process at the beginning stages of developing this lab,” said Lou Odette, son of Louis and Patricia Odette, and president of the P & L Odette Charitable Foundation. “I am confident that the lab will be a great opportunity for Odette students to learn and practise at the leading edge of data science.”

To date, the business school has received donations from the University of Windsor Alumni Association and several alumni that will be matched by the Odette foundations. Construction of the new lab is expected to be completed by fall 2021.

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