Dan backs namesake department with $5-million gift

The DAN Department of Management & Organizational Studies announced a $5-million donation today from the department’s namesake, Aubrey Dan – his  second $5-million donation to Western in a little more than a decade.

The gift enables DAN Management to develop and grow research and teaching in key areas of importance to businesses around the world: understanding consumer behavior, improving governance and managing change.

It’s less about managing a business than about gaining a better understanding of the human side of operations, said Dan, BACS’85. “If you look at the management and organization of business, relationship management is critical. People are the foundation of the whole thing. If you understand how people work, it doesn’t matter what your specialty is, that is the common denominator.”

Dan, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and Broadway producer who counts Jersey Boys and Memphis among his productions, operates a series of companies under the Dancap name, including the Dancap Family Investment Office, Dancap Productions, and Dancap Private Equity Inc.

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He has directed $4.5 million of his gift to create three endowed research chairs in the fields of Consumer Behaviour, Change and Innovation and Corporate Governance. The Corporate Governance Chair will be appointed jointly between DAN Management and the Faculty of Law, and is intended to lead to the creation of a new module in Management and Legal studies, pending approval.

With matching funds from Western, the Chairs’ initial endowment is $9 million.

Another $500,000 will establish two endowed Distinguished Lectures in the areas of consumer behavior and corporate governance, which are designed to help elevate the profile and promote the expertise of the department.

Dan’s contribution will help the DAN Management build on its leadership in innovative research and teaching about the corporate world.

“Aubrey Dan has been a long-time supporter and friend of Western University,” said Western President Amit Chakma. “Because of his generosity and vision, we have a vibrant department that produces some of the world’s finest scholars in Management studies. We’re proud of the department’s growth to date, and eager to see how it will evolve in the future with Aubrey’s ongoing support.”

In 2006, Dan donated $5 million to create the Aubrey Dan Program in Management and Organizational Studies. Strong student enrolment and program success helped turn it into a full department in 2013.

Located in Western’s Faculty of Social Science and home to more than half of its students, DAN Management takes a people-centric approach to management education that embraces change and innovation.

The department offers a Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies (BMOS) degree in six areas of study: Accounting; Commercial Aviation Management; Consumer Behaviour; Finance; Human Resource Management; and Public Administration.