The Alma Mater Fund is the lifeblood of McGill Engineering

Fall 2012

Lab technician Daniel Bayard (right) briefs alumnus Dominic Bergeron at a Groupe ABS testing facility in Ville d’Anjou, Quebec. (Photo: Owen Egan)

Annual gifts to the Alma Mater Fund are essential in helping McGill Engineering to grow and develop. Each gift serves as a building block to spur innovation and maintain excellence.

Dominic Bergeron, BEng’87, is a loyal alumnus who understands this concept. He has been an annual donor for 25 years.

The native of Sorel-Tracy (east of Montreal) had his pick of universities, but he chose McGill Engineering for two reasons: to master his English-language skills and because of McGill’s international reputation. A quarter-century later, he has no doubts he made the right decision.

“Having ‘McGill’ on my CV got me my first job—with Domtar—and I know it’s played an important role each time I applied for positions after that. Our university is known all over the world, and I guess the main reason I’m an annual donor is to do my part to help ensure that McGill remains one of the best.”

His current position is Director of Special Projects at the Montreal-based consulting firm, Groupe ABS. Among other services, the company conducts compliance audits to determine if its clients’ operations meet government regulations and industry standards.

Bergeron himself specializes in environmental site assessments—everything from soil and groundwater characterizations to site remediation and environmental management.

The Mechanical Engineering graduate is one of a small group of alumni who started giving back their first year after graduation. He has increased that initial $20 donation every year since, and is now one of the 1 per cent of Engineering Faculty graduates known as Leadership Donors. In Bergeron’s case, he is a member of the Deans’ Circle.

“I am where I am today in large part because of what I learned at McGill,” he says, “so I’ve adjusted my yearly Alma Mater Fund gifts to reflect my actual income.”

Bergeron says he didn’t benefit personally from alumni gifts when he was a student— “at least not in terms of obtaining an internship or a scholarship or anything like that—but I’m sure the equipment and the facilities we used back in the 80’s were partly paid for by earlier generations of alumni.

“When I donate now, I do so with that thought in mind. I see my contributions as helping current and future students who, in turn, will do their part one day to help the generation that comes after them.”

If he has one message for his fellow grads, Bergeron says it would be that “it’s not so much the amount you give but the giving itself. Fifty or a hundred dollars is not an awful lot for one individual to donate each year, but if you can convince 10,000 of our grads to donate, that would mean an incredible resource for McGill Engineering.”

Editor’s Note: See adjoining article in this eNewsletter titled “Small gifts add up”.

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