Substantial donation to fund innovative leadership program

March 8, 2013

London, ON –Brescia University College, Canada’s only all-women’s university, is anticipating a bright future for its newest leadership program. Thanks to a $100,000 donation made by Ivey School of Business alumnus, Mr. Mitchell Baran (C.M., LL.D), students in the Dimensions of Leadership program will have greater opportunities to develop, through both traditional and experiential learning. As chairman of Trudell Medical Group, Baran finds significant merit in this program, explaining,“Having more women in leadership positions will have a positive effect on our society, and will ultimately make a global impact. Brescia’s program is a marvelous springboard for women to discover their leadership potential.”

While he feels that there have always been excellent examples of women in leadership, he is concerned over their numbers and visibility, saying, “To change the dynamic, society must make it a priority to support and develop women to take their rightful place in leadership roles. I am not satisfied with the status quo, and with this gift I want to create some synergy to make this happen.

Mr. Baran has shown strong support for development in leadership over the years, as the Founding Chairman of “Let’s Talk Science,” which provides learning programs and services intended to keep students, particularly young women, engaged in learning science, engineering, and math to ensure they have the necessary skills to follow any career path they might choose.

Inspired by Brescia Principal Dr. Colleen Hanycz’s vision, Mr. Baran believes that Brescia University College is on the cusp of becoming a global player in women’s leadership programs. Having reached personal and professional success through an uncharted path himself, Mr. Baran wants to enable women to develop a vision, and be confident enough to find success in their own right and through their own pathway. He acknowledges the restricted opportunities available to women today, and finds the channeling of women’s education to be rather narrow. He advocates the need for societal change in order for the world to benefit from the significant potential contributions of strong female leadership.

Tracey Rutledge, Executive Director of the Brescia Foundation, says of this recent gift, “The Brescia community is incredibly grateful for Mr. Baran’s investment and support of this unique and important program. The Dimensions of Leadership program allows our students to understand leadership through a different lens. It motivates women to redefine leadership, and to go into society with confidence and determination.”

Dr. Colleen Hanycz adds, “Several key learning outcomes frame our Dimensions of Leadership program: self awareness and empathy; global dimensionality; effective communication; strategic problem solving; ethical perspectives; critical thinking and analysis; and creativity and innovation. Mr. Baran’s strategic partnership will help us to refine and deliver these outcomes as Brescia achieves its mission of developing competence, capacity, and courage in the next generation of society’s female leaders.”

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For more information please contact Colleen Aguilar, Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer, at 519.432.8353, ext. 28280

Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,275 women registered as either full or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more current and archived news, a listing of faculty experts, and photos please visit our Online Media Room at