The formal reception for the Sauvé Scholars Program (2008- 2009) was held on 30th November 2008 in the grand hall of the beautiful Sauvé House on Dr. Penfield Avenue. The reception was in honor of the twelve scholars who have come to Montreal this year from around the world.
The Principal of McGill University Heather Munroe-Blum was the guest of honour and gave a gracious speech of welcome. “We always welcome you young leaders to engage with Montreal and with our McGill Community. You have become our alumni and we claim you as ours”, she mentioned. She also described the cooperation between the Sauvé Foundation and McGill as “an honored partnership”.
Each year, the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation brings in twelve or fourteen young leaders from around the world to Montreal for study, research and debate at McGill which serves as the academic home for the Scholars. Young professionals from around the world for this year come from Armenia, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Israel, Italy, Kirgizstan, Nigeria, the U.S. and the U.K.
The diversity of the Scholar and their backgrounds is one of they keys to the success of the Program. “It is really nice to be in this diverse group of people here in Montreal which is very much metropolitan. One of the most prominent features of the Program is that it brings together young leaders from both North and South and really creates a network of leaders who can share their solutions for the better world”, said Pyone Kyaw from Burma, who is one of this year’s Scholars.
Jean-Francois Sauvé, the son of the late Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, emphasized the privileged partnership between the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation and McGill University. He said, “This privileged relationship that we have with the university is very important and it is one of the significant parts of the Program.” He recalled the history of Sauvé House as a historic and concrete element of the Foundation.
The Executive Director of the Sauvé Scholars Program, Désirée McGraw said, “Someone asked me what it is like to be in this position?” She continued, “It is really a dream job to work with these marvelous Scholars from around the world. After having been away a few years, I am so happy to be back in Montreal working in an international environment and inspired on a daily basis by these incredible young leaders.”
“We have to take advantage of this opportunity. But we also have the responsibility not just towards our own advancement, but also to return to our own country in our respective fields and share our experiences with our colleagues back home and help them to bring about change”, expressed Edward Vainker (a teaching professional and Sauvé Scholar from the U.K.) who spoke on behalf of the Scholars.
It was wonderful to find two communities; McGill University and the Sauvé Community within the diverse international environment. The beautiful mansion with the gifted group of young leaders makes the program inspiring too. Martin Kreiswirth, Dean of Graduate Studies, had a tour of the house and announced, “I want to be a Sauvé Scholar too”.