As part of the UdeS Major Funding campaign, the Faculty of Education and UTA are proud to present Mr. André-Gilles Brodeur. In this interview, he shares his history with UdeS, the links that unite him with UTA, and his choice to contribute to tomorrow’s society by supporting the Faculty of Education.
What is your history with UdeS?
In the fall of 1968, I began my studies at the Faculty of Law of the University of Sherbrooke. After my studies, I always kept in touch with my alma mater. I also taught at the Faculty of Law as a lecturer from 1972 to 1992. At the end of the 90s, I joined the Association of Law Graduates of the UdeS for ten years. I actually became its president.
What are the values of the University for the Third Age (UTA) for you?
To me, UTA means offering university-level educational activities for seniors. Through classes and activities organized by the student association, people are encouraged not only to continue learning throughout their lives, but also to socialize. As most educational activities are conducted face-to-face, the social aspect is important. Did you know that each branch has a program committee and that it is the students who plan the courses offered? It’s really great! In addition, few people know that UTA is connected to the Faculty of Education of UdeS.
Can you tell us about UTA and the Roger Bernier Fund?
In the fall of 2009, I started attending classes at UTA. In 2013, I was asked to be a board member of AGEAUS (Sherbrooke University General Association of Senior Students). From 2015, I took over the presidency of the association until recently, when my mandate ended in May 2023.
Going back in time, the University of Sherbrooke established the first University for the Third Age in America in 1976, shortly after the creation of the first UTA in Toulouse, France. It was Mr. Roger Bernier who founded UTA in Sherbrooke. Over the years several branches have been added to the one in Sherbrooke. There are 30 branches across Quebec, including a virtual branch. Courses are held in more than 60 cities in Quebec and in 10 administrative regions.
The Roger Bernier Fund was established in 1987 and is named in honor of its founder. Today it is managed by the UdeS Foundation. The Roger-Bernier Fund is an endowment fund, a permanent investment linked to a philanthropic donation and whose annual interest will support the activities of the latter. In 2023, for example, $32,000 was available for UTA project development and priorities.
Income from the Roger-Bernier Fund can be used to promote the well-being of older people in the context of universities: continuing education, intergenerational learning, research and dissemination activities in gerontology. They also make it possible to offer specific educational activities to older people as part of the UTA program. This income also helps to encourage the organization of academic research activities aimed at the development of gerontology, such as conferences, symposia, congresses, study tours, scholarships and more. The benefits will be obvious for all UTA branches.
How can you donate to the Roger Bernier Fund?
Contributions to this fund mainly come from UTA students for the implementation of research and educational innovation projects. By registering for activities, they are encouraged to contribute to the Roger-Bernier Fund with an optional donation of $2 per session added to their registration fees. It is also possible to donate through the UdeS Major Fundraising Campaign.
What message do you want us to take away from this interview?
I would like the Roger Bernier Fund to be better known. In other words, it can radiate through 30 branches and 60 municipalities where UTA UdeS offers educational activities. This would enable more projects and thus great benefits for UTA.