Dan: Pay it back, pay it forward

Canadian businessman and philanthropist Aubrey Dan wants you to remember where you came from and to pay it forward as a means of paying back.

Dan was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD) at the Friday afternoon session of Western’s 312thConvocation.

The Tony-Award winning producer and Western alumnus (BACS’85) spoke to graduates from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the Faculty of Social Science, remembering his time at Western as a foundation for his success and of his desire to give back to the university. The DAN Department of Management & Organizational Studies in the Faculty of Social Science is named in his honour.

“Going to Western was the best choice for my future … I regularly use the skillset I gained in ACS every day,” Dan said, noting he wanted to return the investment in him back to the university.

The more one gives, the more one gets in return, he said, and seeing the impact of the DAN program worldwide is a rewarding return on his donation investment to the university.

Dan, however, wanted to pay it forward with more than money. He wanted to give his time.

“If my endowment gift would be successful, I would need to have input,” he said. “It was the gift that kept on giving, to create future leaders of Canada and internationally. I am so excited about the future of the department; there is so much to accomplish together.”

“What did I learn? Never forget where you came from and pay it forward to the person coming behind you. Believe in your ability to make a difference; even if it’s small, it may have a ripple effect.”

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