Putting alumni in the bank
By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
The Bank of Montreal has donated one of its many London branches to Western alumni, proving there is more to life than just money.
Newly named the Bank of Montreal Alumni Western Centre, the keys to the building located just outside the Richmond St. gates were handed over to Western and its alumni early last Friday morning.
The centre will offer alumni a number of programs and recruitment brochures said Ted Garrard, VP-external for Western. He said there is potential for future part-time courses being offered to alumni at this location.
"We're delighted the Bank of Montreal has agreed to our request and given us this location because it is part of the campus and is very accessible to the community," Garrard said.
The centre's opening is scheduled for the new year and will be available to the general public, Garrard said, adding many of the workers will consist of volunteers.
Doug Dawson, vice-president of the Bank of Montreal and community banking manager for London, said the decision to donate the location came through discussions with the university in an effort to further an already good relationship.
Western wants to help increase the visibility of the school on the street which makes this location so perfect. Giving the building marks a recognition of the bank's understanding of what the university is trying to achieve, Dawson said.
"We have a long-standing theme in that we want to give students a home within a home and give something back to the community," Dawson said, adding an Automated Banking Machine will still remain on this site.
Those who need personal service can visit the Masonville Place branch which, Dawson said, was already being used by many Bank of Montreal customers who found this location to be more convenient for their banking needs.
Helen MacKenzie, president of the Western Alumni Association, said she is very excited about the donation and will aim to deliver services which keep the location connected to the university.
No definite activities have been planned for the site but MacKenzie said the donation will help the association implement programs which will benefit the 30,000 London area alumni and 150,000 Western alumni worldwide.