Philanthropists Les and Irene Dubé have made a $10 million donation to support the Health Sciences project at the University of Saskatchewan.
“This donation to the University of Saskatchewan brings together our desires to share our wealth in both education and health,” said Les Dubé. “We are building one of the finest facilities in the country and lives will be changed in Saskatchewan and beyond because of the way future generations of health-care professionals will learn together within this facility. We hope that many others will be inspired to support this project.”
The Dubé’s commitment will ensure the completion of the capital project. The Dubés, together with President Peter MacKinnon and Vice-President University Advancement Heather Magotiaux, unveiled renderings of the new state-of-the-art library and 500-seat lecture theatre in the Health Sciences building that will be named the Leslie and Irene Dubé Health Sciences Library and the Leslie and Irene Dubé Theatre.
“The Dubés are truly inspiring,” added President MacKinnon. “Their generous support brings us one step closer to turning our Health Sciences vision into reality. We are very thankful for their lead partnership in building the future of health education, research and practice.”
The Health Sciences facility will promote collaboration, resource sharing and research partnerships, and will help the U of S educate health professionals using a team-centred approach. While located on the U of S campus in Saskatoon, the expanded and renovated Health Sciences building project will be a resource for the entire province.
For more details on the Health Sciences project, visit www.usask.ca/healthsciences.
Drs. Leslie and Irene Dubé Biography
Through their entrepreneurial spirit, community service and philanthropy, Drs. Leslie and Irene Dubé have set an inspiring example for business and charitable leadership in Saskatchewan.
Both Les and Irene were born and raised in Wynyard, Saskatchewan, and they were married in 1954. Only six years later, they made their first private sector investment by purchasing land on 8th Street East in Saskatoon, now known as the Greystone area. By 1969 they opened a small business office to manage their growing company. Starting with only three employees, the Concorde Group of Companies has grown into a diverse company with business ventures in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. They attribute their success to hard work, sound business practices, and a social consciousness.
While managing the family business interests, Irene Dubé also provided service to the University of Saskatchewan, serving as a member of its Board of Governors from 1987 to 1989. Among many other things, Irene Dubé’s community service has involved taking in young unwed mothers whose parents would not allow them to live at home, and providing these women with a warm and loving home environment until their babies were born. Irene Dubé’s concern for the well-being of others and quality of life in the community demonstrates true empathy, and many have been enriched by her acts of kindness and contributions to health care, education and community service organizations.
Les Dubé has held a number of leadership positions with charities and non-profit organizations in Saskatchewan including the Heart & Stroke Foundation, the Knights of Columbus, the Saskatchewan Diabetes Association, and others too numerous to mention. Les Dubé served on the inaugural board of the Saskatoon Economic Development Authority, now SREDA, and his contribution to the early development of the authority is considered instrumental in its success. With a strong service commitment to the health sector, he chaired the St. Paul’s Hospital Board of Management from 1989 to 1994, and was a founding member of the Saskatoon Health Authority.
Les and Irene froze their estate in 1993, deciding at that point to donate money accumulated from their business interests to charities. Since then, their philanthropic efforts have been focused on health, education, religion, and poverty at home and internationally. They have donated close to $20 million dollars to a number of important initiatives in the past decade.
In 2006, Les and Irene Dubé were inducted into the SABEX Hall of Fame, and were recognized during the City of Saskatoon Centennial as part of the 100 Who Made a Difference. In 2007 they received their honourary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and in 2008 they received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit – Saskatchewan’s highest honour.
Leading by example through their strength of character and generous spirits, Les and Irene Dubé are community role models whose philanthropy, community service and social investment have enriched the lives of many.
Watch Les and Irene Dubé’s donation announcement: