INSEAD receives US$5.5 million endowment pledge from alumnus Lionel Sauvage

The Sauvage Family Endowed Chair for Academic Excellence is established in recognition of the largest single pledge from an alumnus

Middle East, Asia, Europe
12 January 2017

INSEAD, the Business School for the World, today announced a US$5.5 million endowed pledge from alumnus Lionel Sauvage, MBA'87J.

This matches the largest single pledge from an alumnus, including a legacy pledge of US$2 million, and in recognition the school will establish The Sauvage Family Endowed Chair for Academic Excellence. The Chair will honour professors serving as the school’s Dean of Faculty and Research. Timothy Van Zandt, INSEAD’s Dean of Faculty and Research, will  be the first Chair holder.  The Chair will highlight the central role that the Dean of Faculty plays in advancing teaching and research excellence at the school.

Ilian Mihov, INSEAD Dean, and Professor of Economics, expressed his thanks on behalf of the school, “Our sincere thanks to Lionel Sauvage and his family for their extraordinary gift and continued generosity to the school. It is rewarding to witness this gesture of the longstanding friendship between the Sauvage family and INSEAD, and to see the trust that one of the school’s founding families has in the school’s future and development. The new endowed chair will strengthen  INSEAD’s key pillar of academic excellence, supporting our continuous endeavour  to maintain the highest standards of research and teaching quality, while contributing significantly to the school’s financial foundation.”

Lionel Sauvage and his family have a deep-rooted connection with INSEAD and a long history of supporting  the school. Lionel’s father, Gilbert Sauvage, joined INSEAD in 1960 as its first full-time professor, and taught at the school until 1977.  Along with his wife Francoise he contributed immensely to the development of INSEAD in the school’s early years.

Lionel Sauvage himself was a founding donor of the Asia Campus in 2000 and has funded research projects in Finance, Decision Making & Risk Analysis and European Competitiveness. He holds the Millennium Salamander award and has been a Member of the Circle of Patrons since 2010 in recognition of his significant contributions.

Lionel Sauvage said, “This gift expresses my gratitude towards the institution that INSEAD is, the people who have built it and those who continue to build it every day. With my family, I discussed the future and our contributions to make it better: we consider philanthropy and business to be ‘a force for good’; just like INSEAD is. Receive without forgetting - give without remembering”

As an independent business school, a strong endowment is vital to INSEAD’s financial foundation. The endowed chair will provide a financially stable source of funding for the Dean of Faculty's activities in advancing research and faculty development.  This will in turn increase the school’s ability to attract the best minds in academia and nurture a vibrant academic environment for INSEAD to excel as a top-ranked business school.  

Timothy Van Zandt noted, “A strong and growing faculty is essential to keep INSEAD at the forefront of global management education. We are committed to maintaining and building an environment that inspires and supports thought leaders of exceptional calibre and diversity. The volume and quality of their published research bears witness to their accomplishments. Without the fantastic support of our dedicated staff in Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau and Singapore, and the generosity of our donors who believe in academic excellence, none of the above would be possible. This combined, tremendous effort and good will, provides the basis upon which the school’s success is built.”

Giving at all levels to INSEAD increased by about 67 percent from the previous year, demonstrating the strong confidence and trust that alumni and friends of INSEAD have in its vision, mission, and its future.  

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World

As one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to change lives and to transform organisations. A global perspective and cultural diversity are reflected in all aspects of our research and teaching.

With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and the Middle East, INSEAD's business education and research spans three continents. Our 145 renowned Faculty members from 40 countries inspire more than 1,400 degree participants annually in our MBA, Global Executive MBA specialised master's degrees (Executive Master in FinanceExecutive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change) and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 11,000 executives participate in INSEAD's executive education programmes each year.

In addition to INSEAD's programmes on our three campuses, INSEAD participates in academic partnerships with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia & San Francisco); the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University near Chicago; the Johns Hopkins University/SAIS in Washington DC and the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York; and MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In Asia, INSEAD partners with School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. INSEAD is a founding member in the multidisciplinary Sorbonne University created in 2012, and also partners with Fundação Dom Cabral in Brazil.

INSEAD became a pioneer of international business education with the graduation of the first MBA class on the Fontainebleau campus in Europe in 1960. In 2000, INSEAD opened its Asia campus in Singapore. And in 2007 the school began an association in the Middle East, officially opening the Abu Dhabi campus in 2010.

Around the world and over the decades, INSEAD continues to conduct cutting edge research and to innovate across all our programmes to provide business leaders with the knowledge and sensitivity to operate anywhere. These core values have enabled us to become truly "The Business School for the World.

INSEAD’s MBA programme is ranked #1 by the Financial Times in 2016.


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