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$2.5M gift to Smith School of Business to help future leaders navigate environmental, social and governance issues

Posted on April 20, 2023
Francisca Quinn, Wanda Costen and Mike Quinn in Toronto, April 19
Francisca Quinn, Wanda Costen and Mike Quinn in Toronto, April 19

KINGSTON — Mike Quinn, BCom’88, and Francisca Quinn believe it is critical for the next generation of business leaders to understand climate change and sustainable development concepts. 

That’s why they have made a $2.5-million gift through The Quinn Family Future Foundation to Smith School of Business at Queen’s University to establish the Quinn Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Professorship. The gift will enable Smith to hire an ESG scholar who will play a leadership role in the development of ESG curriculum across programs to further develop the next generation of business leaders. 

“Revitalizing our curriculum will better prepare our students to positively contribute to an inclusive, diverse and sustainable society,” says Wanda Costen, Dean of Smith School of Business. “Smith is a key provider of talent for today’s businesses, so we must offer exceptional learning experiences to equip students to be fluent in sustainability concepts and strategy.” 

Sustainability is already a key strategic goal at Queen’s. The university is committed to furthering the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Queen’s was recently ranked in the top 10 of the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact rankings, which measured the actions of more than 1,500 post-secondary institutions that are trying to advance the UN’s SDGs. 

The Quinns have dedicated their careers to sustainable development. Francisca is the president and founder of Quinn+Partners (a North American Environmental, Social and Governance advisory firm) and Michael is the co-founder of RP Investment Advisors LP.   

“Climate change and social issues are not only significant threats to Canadian business, they can also be tremendous opportunities for organizations and entrepreneurs,” says Francisca Quinn. “We want to equip every student at Smith to expertly navigate ESG, whether in business strategy, accounting, finance, technology or organizational systems.” 

Mike Quinn’s commerce degree benefited him tremendously in his career and he is happy to help his alma mater by giving back.  

“I’m very honoured and excited to be able to contribute to Smith School of Business writing its next chapter,” he says. 

“Thank you to the Quinns for their commitment to finding solutions to some of the challenges facing our world such as climate change and sustainability,” says Queen’s Vice-Principal (Advancement) Karen Bertrand, Artsci’94. “Their gift and this professorship will train future leaders to balance economic growth with environmental responsibility and social progress.”