Every member of the University of Windsor alumni and donor community has a story. Alumni and donor stories reflect a personal journey, a particular academic or career path or a pledge to having an impact on the students of today and tomorrow. Raffaele and Anne Marie Desando continue to share their story with the Odette School of Business as alumni, donors, advisors, and mentors. Adding to the many ways the Desandos continue to build on their legacy at the Odette School of Business is their newly-established scholarship in tribute to Raffaele’s parents, Giuseppe and Immacolata Desando.
“This scholarship is intended to honour not just my parents but every family that left what was home to make a better life in Canada,” he says. “My own experience as a first-generation Canadian taught me the importance of education, hard work, and the value of kindness and opportunity. My parents taught me the former and the University of Windsor provided me with the latter. The kindness that Dr. Jack Freeman showed me in providing me an opportunity to be his Teaching Assistant has always been a lasting memory and one which helped start my career. This scholarship is intended to provide the next generation of first Canadians with an opportunity to experience the same at the University of Windsor.”
Raffaele, who is the Managing Director for Private Investments at Yorkville Asset Management, and Anne Marie, Vice President, Manufacturer Partnerships & Dealer Programs at Scotiabank, are a dynamic alumni duo for the Odette School of Business. Previously the couple generously established and supported “The Edward Ducharme Business Scholarship.” Anne Marie currently holds a position on the Odette School of Business Toronto Dean’s Advisory Board, and both alumni look forward to future and continual mentorship opportunities with the students of Odette.
“In their own right, Anne-Marie and Raffaele have achieved outstanding success in their individual careers, and we are so proud to claim them both as Odette alumni,” says Dr. Mitch Fields, Dean of the Odette School of Business. “On a personal note, I admire Anne Marie as a strong leader and as an inspiring mentor to our students and her colleagues. Knowing Raffaele as a former student, it is no surprise that he continues to give back to students and share his professional story with us all. This duo not only represents an excellent example of what an Odette degree can do for our graduates, but are models of genuinely engaged alumni who give back to our Odette community.”
The total pledge of $50,000 to “The Giuseppe and Immacolata Desando First Generation Canadian Business Scholarship” will award one student annually $5,000 for the next 10 years. The recipient of the award will be a first-generation Canadian in financial need who demonstrates voluntarism within the Odette School of Business or in the outside community of the university.
When donors, and in particular alumni, step up for our students with time and generosity, they are truly paving the way for the future generations of graduates. On behalf of the students who will be impacted by “The Giuseppe and Immacolata Desando First Generation Canadian Business Scholarship,” the Odette School of Business would like to thank Raffaele and Anne Marie Desando and moreover their parents who paved their way for an Odette education.