THE STUDY'S BUILDER'S AWARD
A builder of the study is an individual or group whose leadership, generosity, and dedication over many years have helped shape the school and have left a permanent mark on life at the study.
OUR STUDY BUILDERS
Starting in 2009, The Study began a new tradition meant to honour those who have helped us realize our success over the years - the Builders' Reception.
- Jean-Sébastien Monty
- Jean-Guy Desjardins
- The Ivory Family
- James McDonald
- Jeffrey S.D. Tory
- The Hallward Family
- F. William Molson
- Debbi Eaman
- Barbara Jane Whitley '36
- Robert W. Faith
- Ian Soutar
- Jill de Villafranca
Jean-Sébastien Monty discovered The Study in 2006, when his oldest daughter Chloe started kindergarten. The school's progressive philosophy appealed to him and his wife Karine: "Like many parents, Karine and I liked The Study's holistic approach to education, because it has really broadened our daughters' horizons." Their second daughter, Léa, started school in 2008. With their two daughters enrolled at The Study, Jean-Sébastien and Karine quickly demonstrated an interest in taking part in the school's future decisions, including fundraising initiatives. Because of his knowledge of the business world, Jean-Sébastien's professional experience made him a natural candidate for The Study School Foundation, where he worked closely with the other trustees on issues of growth and management of the Foundation's endowment fund.
When the Foundation launched its "Dare to Dream" campaign with the goal of transforming the school and making it financially self-sufficient, Jean-Sébastien became a valued and dedicated member of the campaign's steering committee, and participated in the fundraising efforts required to reach the ambitious goal of $8,750,000. As Jean-Sébastien's daughters grew up and the Dare to Dream campaign continued, he decided to look at other aspects of the school's operations, such as marketing and communications, bringing his expertise in corporate communications to the marketing committee.
Not only has Jean-Sébastien been very generous with his time and expertise as a volunteer leader, his financial support for the past 15 years towards the Dare to Dream campaign has also been very generous. He has always been ready to offer valuable advice and to support an initiative; Jean-Sébastien Monty is a true builder of The Study - his leadership, altruism and dedication will surely leave an indelible mark on the history of the school.
Jean-Guy Desjardins had a vision for The Study from the moment his two young daughters started kindergarten. His daughters were happy at The Study, learning both languages quickly and easily. But, at the time, The Study and its community were facing challenges associated with Ministry English eligibility restrictions impacting access to our programmes at the secondary level.
Guided by his strong belief in the individual’s right to choose, Jean-Guy would become intricately engaged in working towards a solution to ensure that The Study could accept any girl, without regard to English eligibility, enabling the school’s mother tongue bilingual programme to remain robust and to preserve the diversity of the student population.
Jean-Guy’s commitment to The Study’s longterm sustainability was pivotal for the school. With his deep understanding of organizational behavior and his strong business prowess, he played a critical role as a Trustee and advisor on the Investment Committee for The Study School Foundation, helping to catapult the school towards the decision to become financially autonomous from the government. This decision would allow the school to move towards a sound and sustainable financial model, and to preserve the same quality of education for our students at the secondary level.
The Dare to Dream Campaign, The Study’s endowment campaign for the next century, was launched. This campaign would raise the necessary funds to attain financial autonomy. As a Campaign Co-Chair, Jean-Guy made a $2 million leadership gift commitment, the largest-ever single gift pledge to The Study. His gesture and sincere generosity buttressed this campaign and injected energy and momentum into this game-changing project.
Early indications from other schools undertaking a shift to financial autonomy suggested that the government-supported staff pension plan would remain intact. The transition towards financial autonomy would prove otherwise — the school would have to provide its own pension plan. Jean-Guy’s unequivocal support of the school during this period in providing expertise and guidance to the Board of Governors and Head of School as a member of the pension committee was invaluable — knowing when and how to ask the ‘right’ questions, offering experienced direction and candid honesty.
Today, Jean-Guy continues to provide his time and advice as a Director on the Board of Governors, offering a fresh perspective and straightforward, no-nonsense leadership. Jean-Guy Desjardins is truly a Study Builder, as his leadership, generosity and dedication have been pivotal in the school’s quest for financial autonomy and long-term sustainability, leaving an indelible mark on life at The Study.
The Ivory Family, a Study legacy family enjoying three generations of Study girls, are the 2018–2019 Study Builders. Caroline ’16 is daughter to Sarah Ivory ’78 and Guthrie Stewart. Sarah is daughter to Joan (Fraser) Ivory ’51 and Neil Ivory. Joan, whose commitment to The Study began in the early 1970s, has been an active and constant supporter. Her initial role as President of The Study Old Girls’ Association shifted to the school’s newly established Endowment Fund, becoming Vice-Chair and eventually Chair of The Study School Foundation. Joan has continued to maintain her support of, and membership with, the Foundation ever since. When asked why it was important to support The Study, Joan replied: “When my daughter Sarah was born, Martha Hallward ’48 (Study Builder 2015-2016) telephoned me and said, “I hear that you’ve had a daughter. Congratulations! It’s not too early to start helping The Study, so I’ve added you to our money-raising committee and I’ll expect you at the meeting at my house next Tuesday morning.”
Joan’s daughter Sarah followed in her mother’s footsteps. Sarah’s passionate and loyal support of her alma mater and its vision was consistently reflected in how she channeled her time as an invaluable member of The Study’s Board of Governors, assuming roles on various Board committees, and being elected as the Board’s Secretary and eventually as Vice-Chair of the Board in 2011. Not only has the Ivory Family given of their time and expertise as volunteer leaders, the family’s generous financial support over many decades, impacting two major campaigns, has been significant. Always willing to offer valuable advice, remind others of the importance of the school’s history with a hilarious anecdotal story, lend a hand, attend an event, or support an initiative, the Ivory Family truly represent Study Builders, as their leadership, generosity and dedication has, indeed, spanned decades, having left an indelible mark on life at The Study. Congratulations to the Ivory Family and a heartfelt thank you from the entire Study community!
James McDonald (Jim), Past Chair of The Study’s Board of Governors and father to Jessica ’14, was awarded the Builder’s Award on May 23, 2018. At the time, Jim had already celebrated his 16th year as a loyal member of The Study family and as a passionate and loyal supporter of the school and its vision. Jim’s commitment to The Study began in 2002 when his daughter Jessica started Kindergarten. As Jessica grew and flourished in The Study’s nurturing environment, Jim’s relationship with the school grew with it. In 2009 Jim became a member of the Board of Governors and, with a strong background in investment banking as well as in product and business development, Jim rose to the occasion, bringing insight and rigour on a number of Board committees including the Finance, Governance and Nomination Committees. By 2010, Jim took on the role as Treasurer of the Board, helping to prepare the framework for financial autonomy. In 2013, Jim became Chair, and, over an unprecedented period of four years as Board Chair, Jim continued to lead the school through one of the most significant and transformational periods in its history — financial autonomy from the government. Jim’s leadership, marked by his quiet certitude, and his careful and measured decision-making style, instilled confidence and unwavering support amongst those working closely with him, as the school, entering its second century of excellence in education, was successfully steered into a position of strength and sustainability. Not only has Jim McDonald given much of his time and expertise as a volunteer leader, his generous financial support and commitments over more than a decade have been significant for the school. Always willing to give valuable advice, support an initiative, speak at an event, make an important ‘ask’, Jim McDonald is truly a Study Builder, as his leadership, generosity and dedication has, indeed, spanned many years, having left an indelible mark on life at The Study. Congratulations to Jim and his family and a heartfelt thank you from the entire Study community!
Jeff Tory, Vice Chair of The Study School Foundation and father to Jessica ’00, Annabel ’06, Olivia ’11 and Robin ’15, was awarded the Builder’s Award on April 26, 2017 having, at that time, already celebrated over 20 years as a loyal member of the Foundation and committed and passionate supporter of the school and its mission. Jeff’s involvement at The Study began in the mid 1990’s just as his daughter Jessica began her time at the school. It was not long before his keen interest in wanting to help preserve and develop what he quickly identified as a “world-class institution”, combined with his business acumen in the world of wealth management, that he became a vocal member of the Foundation. Jeff rapidly rose to the occasion, bringing insight and ambition. In 2000, Jeff became Foundation Vice Chair, and continued to lead the Foundation through significant periods of growth during both tumultuous and prosperous economic times. More recently, during the school’s quest for financial autonomy, Jeff has played a visionary role, being one of its earliest supporters and quick to recognize the multitude of benefits that the school would enjoy from financial autonomy. Jeff’s candid personality and passion for the school has helped to elicit and secure some of the most transformational philanthropic gifts in the Foundation’s history, including the staunch support and advocacy for the Foundation’s Dare to Dream Campaign for financial autonomy. Always willing to offer valuable advice, or support an initiative, Jeff Tory is truly a Study Builder, as his leadership, generosity and dedication has spanned decades, having left an indelible mark on life at The Study. Congratulations to Jeff and his family and a heartfelt thank you from the entire Study community!
The Hallward Family is a legacy Study family, enjoying three generations of Study girls. Laura ’11 is daughter to Karma (Price) Hallward ’77 and John Hallward. John is son to Martha (Fisher) Hallward ’48 and Hugh G. Hallward.
Martha’s commitment to The Study has spanned decades, by being an integral part of The Study Old Girls’ Association, Board of Governors and The Study School Foundation. Martha’s daughter-in-law and Study Old Girl, Karma, continued in Martha’s footsteps with her involvement on The Study Old Girl Association, and as a Class Parent of the Study Parent Association. And John, continuing the family’s tradition of service, has been an invaluable, engaged and committed Director of The Study School Foundation since 2008.
In her introductory remarks, former Head of School, Eve Marshall, highlighted how the Hallwards’ contributions represented “different types of philanthropy – fundraising, volunteerism, providing expert advice, and facilitating others’ interests in getting involved.” In accepting the award on behalf of his family, John Hallward reminded guests that his family’s tradition of giving back began generations ago. He spoke of his grandparents’ Club 21 and how they gave a sizeable cheque to each of their 24 grandchildren on their 21st birthdays, not for themselves, but to be used to help a charity about which they could be passionate and long-term supporters.
On November 12th, 2014, The Study proudly hosted its 6th Annual Builder’s Reception honouring F. William (Bill) Molson for his many contributions to the school and his active on-going role as Chair of The Study School Foundation. Joined by his son Will, friends and other volunteer leaders within The Study community, Bill shared his passion for the school, recounting his belief that his daughters Brittany ’06 and Emma ’11 acquired an important foundation at The Study that has well equipped them for the challenges of life, and spoke of his pride in the extraordinary young women they have become.
Bill’s service, together with his father who held leadership roles before him, has spanned an extraordinary three decades, starting in 1982 when his father joined the Board of Governors while Bill’s step-sisters Natalie ’90 and Claudine ’93 attended The Study. Fast-forward a few years and Bill Molson committed to leaving his own mark on The Study by dedicating himself to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the school. In 2002 he joined The Study School Foundation, sharing his wisdom and vast experience while Co-Chairing the Foundation for almost ten years with Jeff Tory.
Bill’s generosity of time is matched only by his generosity. His first symbolic gift as a New Parent in 1996-1997 evolved into a major contribution towards the building of the school’s new gymnasium, which current Study students actively enjoy. This generosity further flourished to become the major funder of the Margaret Gascoigne Bursary Fund whose earnings are instrumental in supplementing the financial aid The Study is able to offer to its students.
The 2013-2014 Builder was Debbi Eaman, celebrated for her many contributions to The Study. Debbi was joined by daughters Sarah ’92 and Amanda ’97, granddaughter Clementine '28 and husband Skip as well as many other volunteer leaders who celebrated her strong commitment to the school. Debbi was Co-Chair of The Study’s “Building on Tradition” Campaign with Dr. Robert Faith (Study Builder 2012), which lead to the building of the Soutar Science and Performing Arts Pavilion and Gymnasium. Debbi was also former Chair of the Board of Governors between 1994 and 1996, and Chair of The Study’s Search Committee for Head of School in 1997, eventually hiring Mary Liistro Hebert.
Many who attended the Builder's reception recall Debbi as someone with quiet elegance, dedication and a strong sense of leadership. Jill de Villafranca (Study Builder 2010) recalls her time working closely with Debbi: “Debbi was someone who knew how to empower others with the power to lead – she was so devoted to the school, such a wonderful leader and so special to work with. The school was truly lucky to have her.”
In accepting the award, Debbi’s gratitude for the recognition was visibly profound, and concluded her remarks by saying, “I didn’t build The Study, it built me.”
Proud Study alumna, and lifetime active member of the Westmount community, Barbara Whitley from the class of 1936 was honoured by her alma mater as the 4th recipient of The Study's prestigious Builder's Award. A devoted Old Girl and loyal supporter of the school, Barbara Whitley was applauded for her remarkable energy, legendary fundraising talents and her passion for The Study and its unique place in the community. Miss Whitley was one of the founders of The Study School Foundation in 1974 and a tireless fundraiser for the school's capital campaign and Endowment Fund. "Miss Whitley is truly a visionary fundraiser, so deserving of this special recognition," said Nancy Sweer, Head of School at The Study.
In 2012 Dr. Robert (Bob) Faith was celebrated for his many contributions to the school during the 3rd Annual Builder’s Reception. From 1980 to 2002, Bob served as a member and ultimately Chair of both The Study’s Board of Governors and The Study School Foundation’s Board of Trustees. His efforts helped ensure the success of the Building Fund Campaign to construct the middle school in 1981, as well as the construction of the Soutar Science and Performing Arts Pavilion 1993 during the Building on Tradition Campaign. Bob, who passed away in 2016, had long been a beloved member of The Study community. Bob and his family, including his wife Rae and his daughter Janet '86, have been extraordinary loyal supporters to The Study’s fundraising efforts since 1991: “Bob's presence was always felt in and around the school, questioning and working towards constant improvement. Even after his term on the Board was finished, his interest in us continued.” Thank you Bob, for your lasting legacy.
Ian Soutar, father of Annabel Soutar '88, grandfather of Ella '20 and Beatrice '22, and donor of the Soutar Cup, was awarded the prestigious Builder's Award in 2011. Ian's long-standing commitment to The Study began as a trustee of The Study School Foundation Board and lasted for 23 years, serving as Chairman from 1992 to 1998. Instrumental in the success of numerous fundraising campaigns for The Study, his guidance, inspiration and ability to lead by example was particularly instrumental in the Building on Tradition Campaign as well as in the Dare to Dream Campaign. Finally, generous giving by his peers, friends, and colleagues have brought about the dedication and naming of The Study’s Science and Performing Arts Pavilion in his honour in 2017. The Study thanks Ian and his family for his unwavering and loyal support for the many years of dedication and service!
The Study's inaugural Builder Award was given to Jill de Villafranca in 2010. Jill's long-standing dedication to The Study began as a member of the Board of Governors in the 1990s, serving as Chair of the Board of Governors from 1992 to 1994 and Trustee of The Study School Foundation's Board spanning 2 decades, serving at Treasurer from 2014 to present. During her 15 years as a Study Mom to Katie '96 and Christine '00, Jill was such a positive force, inspiring many to give their time and treasure. Jill has sat on countless committees, some of which included the Building on Tradition Campaign Cabinet, the Board of Governor's Governance Committee and Membership Recruiting Committee, and the Study Parent Association. In addition, during the Building on Tradition Campaign in the 1990s, Jill and her family made a generous lead donation that helped to build our beautiful Ruth Pease de Villafranca Music Room. Jill continues to be deeply involved in the school, both as a major donor, and as an integral member of the Dare to Dream Campaign Cabinet and vocal member of donor recognition committee. Thank you Jill for all you have done and continue to do!