Sherbrooke, June 5, 2017 – Bishop’s University announced last week the creation of the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence, with a gift of $1 million from the Jarislowsky Foundation, which will be matched by the Bishop’s University Foundation.

Central to this Chair is the recognition that excellence in one’s academic field does not necessarily translate into excellence in teaching.  For some professors effective teaching skills come naturally, however, most academics benefit from support in learning how to excel as teachers.

The first Chairholder will be Dr. Jessica Riddell, Associate Professor of the English Department.  She was a founding member of the University’s Teaching and Learning Centre in 2012 and has acted as Chair on a voluntary basis since 2015.  The Jarislowsky Foundation’s gift will enable her to focus on research into effective practices in teaching undergraduate students, student academic success, and mentoring faculty and students. She will also disseminate key research findings about teaching and learning nationally.

“I believe that a liberal education builds a strong foundation of critical thinking, effective communication, knowledge synthesis and leadership development,” said Stephen Jarislowsky, C.C., G.O.Q.  “Bishop’s focus on an interdisciplinary undergraduate education and its deep commitment to excellence in this area make it a strategic choice for this position.”

“We are very grateful to the Jarislowsky Foundation for this generous gift,” said Michael Goldbloom, C.M., Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Bishop’s University.  “Most of Canada’s undergraduate students do not go on to graduate school. Their undergraduate degree is their final degree. Consequently, the ability to concentrate on how best to teach at the undergraduate level is a critical priority for Bishop’s and undergraduate programs across the country.”

“The Jarislowsky Foundation’s donation will enable us to focus on our core mission – excellence in teaching and research at the level where the greatest number of students stand to benefit.”

“I am honoured to be the first holder of a Chair that not only celebrates undergraduate teaching excellence but that is also imbued with the Jarislowsky Foundation’s fundamental values of integrity, loyalty, mentorship, and ethical and moral reasoning,” says Dr. Jessica Riddell.

“I am passionate about designing and implementing programs that will support, mentor, and guide a future generation of ethical and responsible citizens. The Jarislowsky Foundation has created the support necessary for us to strive for excellence.”

The Jarislowsky Chair is part of the University’s $36 million Leading the Way capital campaign, the largest in the University’s history.  Gifts and pledges to date total $34 million.  The Campaign is scheduled to conclude in September 2017.

Founded in 1843, Bishop’s University is a predominantly residential, undergraduate university in Sherbrooke, Quebec. It provides a high quality education in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, business, and education. Its small size (2,400 full time students) allows students to develop close relationships with their professors and each other.

Established in 1991, the Jarislowsky Foundation was founded by Canadian business leader and philanthropist Stephen A. Jarislowsky, C.C., G.O.Q. The mission of the Foundation is the promotion, support and advancement of excellence in education, medicine and the arts.  It has established 32 endowed chairs in Canada in a variety of fields including governance, democracy, public sector management, the arts, the humanities, business, environment and medicine.

Mr. Jarislowsky is Founder, Director and Chairman Emeritus of the investment management firm Jarislowsky Fraser Limited. Mr. Jarislowsky is also the co-founder of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance and the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations (IGOPP) in Quebec.  He holds the Orders of Canada (Companion) and Quebec (Grand Officier).

Dr. Jessica Riddell is an Associate Professor in English Literature, and a recipient of several teaching awards at Bishop’s University.  In 2015, she became the youngest ever recipient of a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, Canada’s highest teaching honour for university professors.   Dr. Riddell has a particular interest in fostering innovation and excellence in teaching the humanities.




For additional information:

Chantal Sneath
Communications Officer
Bishop’s University
819-822-9600, ext. 2840


Eve Beauchamp
Executive Director
The Jarislowsky Foundation