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Support for ESG expertise at Smith

A $2.5-million alumni gift promises to have a profound impact on environmental, social and governance education for students

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 in April 2023 they made a $2.5-million gift through The Quinn Family Future Foundation to establish the Quinn Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Professorship at Smith.

The gift will enable the school to hire an ESG scholar who will play a leadership role in the development of the 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.”

Francisca Quinn and Mike Quinn, BCom’88

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.