Oct 21, 2019
Dmitriy Ivanov

Assumption Unveils Grenon School of Business

For decades, David Grenon AP’57 HD’86 and his family have been ardent supporters of Assumption. On Oct. 18, his family’s legacy was recognized with the unveiling of the Grenon School of Business, the first of the five schools to be named. 

“We are grateful that David recognizes the value of maintaining the centrality of the liberal arts and importance of infusing ethics into all of our academic programs, in particular business studies,” said President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D. “Through this gift, David and Rosalie will empower countless generations of Assumption business students to use the gifts they discover here and knowledge they obtain here to make a meaningful difference – just as David and Rosalie have done in many countless ways at Assumption and elsewhere.”

“What a glorious day for Assumption,” said Joe Foley, M.B.A., associate professor of accounting and founding dean of the Grenon School of Business. “When the business program began at Assumption, there were two faculty members, two developing majors and much uncertainty. Today, we work out of this amazing building and, having added economics to our school, we have 25 full-time faculty, six major programs and 10 minors and concentrations.”

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Fran Bedard ’81 remarked that almost two years to the day—on October 20, 2017—the community had gathered to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the Tsotsis Family Academic Center. “Here are Assumption, we are celebrating new, historic moments,” he said. “One needs to look no further than this building, or the Health Sciences building rising next to the library. … Today we gather to celebrate the naming of Assumption’s School of Business and the generosity of former and honorary trustee, David Grenon.”

A cornerstone of Assumption’s business studies program is forming students who are entrepreneurial and committed to ethical business practices. In support of that mission, Grenon and his wife, Rosalie, made a seven-figure gift, the second-largest gift made to the current Capital Campaign, in support of the School of Business. This is the first gift Assumption has received in support of one of its five new schools, which also include the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing, the School of Health Professions, and the School of Graduate Studies.

“It’s imperative that the soul of Assumption maintains the core of the liberal arts, infusing ethics into all the aspects of its academic programs,” said Grenon. “Going forward, we hope that you develop ethical leaders who positively impact society, focused on the greater good and a lifetime of sustainable values.”

Though not a graduate, in recognition of his extensive service in support of Assumption, Grenon was named an honorary alumnus in 1975. He was awarded an honorary degree in 1986 and served as a trustee from 1974-85, for which he was recognized with the title of honorary trustee. Over the years, Grenon chaired the first Fr. Georges Bissonnette, A.A. Golf Tournament, which for 35 years raised critical funds for student scholarships and aid; served as chair of Assumption’s Centennial Campaign that raised funds for the Testa Science Center, Multi-Sport Stadium, and financial aid; donated funds for a stock ticker in the Hagan Campus Center; and in recognition of Rosalie’s father, H. Louis Rocheleau ’24, made a gift in support of the baseball field on campus, Rocheleau Field. 

President Cesareo recalled Assumption’s earliest involvement with area businesses began through Grenon’s efforts.  “In 1973, David paved the way for Assumption’s engagement with the business community through a program he chaired, Assumption College Tomorrow,” he said. “This was one of the first coordinated efforts of the institution to engage with Worcester’s businesses and organizations, no doubt the beginning of the fruitful relationship Assumption and our students now enjoy, in the form of internships, experiential learning opportunities, and even post-graduate employment. This unveiling is the culmination of a journey that Assumption and David began together nearly 50 years ago.”

Grenon, an entrepreneur and businessman, is most known for founding The Protector Group Insurance Agency, Inc. (now the Marsh & McLennon Agency). 

“From the liberal arts curriculum, to the business classes I’ve had with all of the amazing professors here, Assumption has helped transform me into who I am today,” said marketing major Liz Paquette ’20. “I feel prepared and ready to enter the workforce and carry on the tradition of being a proud Assumption alum who has developed the skills and expertise needed for a rewarding and successful career. I can only imagine the possibilities and opportunities the Grenon School of Business will provide for future Assumption students.”

“Thanks to David and his family, future leaders of the business world—CEOs, accountants, and effective business leaders and owners—will be formed here, formed as individuals who respect the dignity of the human person,” said President Cesareo. “Individuals who will put humanity before profit. Individuals who, through a curriculum grounded in the liberal arts, will be prepared for the professional and ethical challenges of the modern marketplace.  Here we will form future business professionals who will be known for their integrity, something that characterized David’s own career and is especially important to him.”

Marking the historic nature of the naming of the School of Business, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and State Senate President Emerita Harriet Chandler both sent proclamations, which were read during the ceremony.

During his remarks, Grenon announced the generosity of his colleagues, who both made six-figure gifts in support of the Grenon School of Business. Jeff ’76 and Susan ’80 Lagarce donated funds that will be used to create a “trading room,” a specialized classroom that will simulate a trading floor. And Assumption Prep grads Stephen and Robert Granger made their gift in honor of their father, Robert, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday on Friday. 

“Let’s make it a school of entrepreneurship. Let’s show that the capitalistic system can work well based upon ethics,” encouraged Grenon. “We want to be the leading business school, not just in Worcester, [but in] Central Massachusetts and all of Massachusetts to bring pride to this Commonwealth.”