Col. Andre Boudreau (Ret’d)
"I was very taken by the geography of this place, and the gardens."
A former RRMC cadet who has left $1million in his will to Royal Roads University is hoping he can encourage others to do the same. But it is more than just nostalgia for its previous incarnation as a military college that inspired him.
While it’s true Col. Andre Boudreau (Ret’d), 73, can’t say enough good things about the place that helped him mature, it’s his love of education that colours his conversation. In particular, the value of an applied education of the kind offered at Royal Roads.
In 1975, Col. Boudreau did a mid-career MBA at McGill University, where classmates from companies like IBM and Hewlett-Packard opened his eyes to how computers could revolutionize the job of a logistics officer.
Later, that education would lead him to the federal public service where he won the 1991 gold medal as the National Project Manager of the Year. Eventually, it would help him launch his post-military career in the high-tech sector in Ottawa, where he still lives.
But he chuckles recalling how he learned the value of those extra-curricular lessons the hard way. When the 17 year-old sea cadet arrived in the summer of ‘62, he was warned that his Sydney, Nova Scotia high school math was insufficient. But he was a confident student who had also been the top sea cadet in the Maritimes, and he was certain he would catch-up — right until he flunked, that is.
“I learned I should listen when someone tells me something,” he says, with a chuckle. “I also learned that sometimes you have to regroup, work a little harder.”
That third year on campus turned out to be a blessing in disguise. He got a job in the library where he learned the principles of document management, something that would serve him throughout his career. Best of all, he had time to wander the 565-acre campus.
“I was very taken by the geography of this place, and the gardens,” says Boudreau, who would visit the school whenever he was in Victoria.
Later he would bring his wife Major Suzanne Gouin-Boudreau (Ret'd), who also came to treasure the Hatley Castle campus. With that in mind, the Boudreau legacy will be earmarked for projects that preserve Royal Roads’ heritage and contribute to a culture that helps educate students beyond the classroom.
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