$2M gift to create the Rovinescu Admission Scholarships for New Canadians

Posted on Thursday, October 3, 2019

Students in a classroom.

Today, Calin and Elaine Rovinescu announced the creation of the Rovinescu Admission Scholarships for new Canadians, to benefit undergraduate and professional degree students at both the University of Ottawa and Université de Montréal through a generous gift of $2M, to be divided equally between the two universities.

The Rovinescu Scholarships will provide first-generation Canadians or a child of immigrants to Canada, with the opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s or professional degree designation at either university.

“In our societies, we tend to forget about humanity’s profound belief in the importance of education,” explained the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, Jacques Frémont. “But in emerging countries, a parent’s first priority is providing their kids with a proper education. They would give up their soul for their children to be educated well and to have a great future. This new scholarship from my dear friends Calin and Elaine Rovinescu will allow them to do just that: Enable new Canadians to embrace a better future through access to higher education.” 

“Universities are a major force for social integration,” said Université de Montréal Rector Dr. Guy Breton. “Calin and Elaine Rovinescu believe in the transformative power of higher education, and this substantial donation demonstrates their belief in young people from immigrant backgrounds. On behalf of our students, I would like to express our deep gratitude for their generosity.” 

Calin and Elaine Rovinescu

Calin and Elaine Rovinescu

The scholarships will be available to scholars from bachelor programs and professional degrees who qualify for financial assistance but will also take into account academic performance and community, social, sports or other extra-curricular involvement. They are intended to cover a scholar’s tuition and fees for their undergraduate program or professional designation.

Rovinescu Scholars will represent a diversity of cultures and backgrounds, from families who have emigrated from any country. The Rovinescu Scholarships will continue in perpetuity and will, over many decades, encourage hundreds of young people whose families have immigrated to Canada to pursue higher education and reach their true potential.

“My parents came to Canada from Romania when I was five years old  with nothing more than $60 and a few suitcases of clothes,” said Mr. Rovinescu. “What they had of value was what was in their heads. Their extensive university and professional education is what enabled them to quickly thrive in their new country. It also underscored the importance of providing their children with the same higher education opportunities in their new country. As the beneficiary of these opportunities I am proud to work with my two alma maters, l’Université de Montréal and the University of Ottawa, and to offer new Canadians opportunities to seize those same prospects and make a valuable contribution to Canada in their own unique way.”

“Canada has been built by immigrants from so many countries, each contributing in her or his way. Times have never been more challenging for some immigrant families, so as we invest in and support our scholars, we look forward to helping the next generation of builders in Canada,” said Mrs. Elaine Rovinescu.

Calin Rovinescu, C.M. is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada. He holds a Civil Law degree from the Université de Montréal (1978) and a Common Law degree from the University of Ottawa (1980). He was awarded a Doctorates Honoris Causa from both universities in 2014. Mr. Rovinescu is the 14th Chancellor of the University of Ottawa following his installation in November 2015.


For additional information:

Université de Montréal

Julie Cordeau-Gazaille

Press Officer

Université de Montréal

514 343-6796



University of Ottawa

Isabelle Mailloux Pulkinghorn

Manager, media relations

Communications Directorate



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