Making projects possible

It is thanks to the involvement of our community of sponsors that we can develop initiatives which uphold Sciences Po’s values. Through the programmes that characterise our institution’s social inclusion policy, grants to fund research or contributions to acquiring educational equipment, our partners actively contribute to the life of Sciences Po. They in turn are integrated into university life, serving on student selection committees, mentoring the beneficiaries of certain programmes, being invited to conferences and special events, and more.

Financial aid

Fundraising gala diners

Jean-François Ducrest, one of our major donors, talked to Émile, the Alumni Association magazine. Here are some excerpts from the interview explaining the reasons for his attachment to Sciences Po.

Émile: What links have you maintained with Sciences Po since you graduated?

Jean-François Ducrest: When I started working, I kept in touch with some friends from Sciences Po, but I did not maintain any connection with the school. I renewed contact fifteen years ago because I saw how Sciences Po was expanding its student recruitment internationally. I joined the board of the US-Sciences Po Foundation and served on the selection panel for the Michel David-Weill Scholarship, which gives outstanding American students the opportunity to study at Sciences Po. It was an amazing experience and it was fascinating to meet them. I even decided to offer a scholarship myself to the exceptional candidate who had come second. What a waste it would have been, for both the institution and the young man, had he not managed to go to Sciences Po. Since then, it has become a tradition; every year, I fund the studies of a young American. I have been steeped in American culture and I think that when you have been lucky in life, you have to pass on this success to the next generations. I have chosen to do so through Sciences Po, since I owe it a great deal intellectually, in terms of knowledge, sound reasoning and culture.

Émile: Were these also the reasons behind your donation for the acquisition of the Hôtel de l’Artillerie?

JFD: Yes, but not only these. I think this is an absolutely exceptional opportunity. They’ll still be talking about it in 100 years! I also made this donation to set an example to the French, who do not necessarily have any real culture of philanthropy, especially the younger generation, and to motivate them to share the luck that they’ve had. To tell them, "if you want your country to remain at the highest level, you must not only take, you also have to give."

(Interview by Amina Zakhnouf and Maïna MarjanyÉmile Boutmy magazine number 10 / summer 2017 (fr))