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Convocation a time to reflect on the moments that inspire

Connor Egan on legacy and being part of something amazing

June 5, 2024 — 

In a crowd of 500, including excited and nervous incoming Bachelor of Commerce students, Connor Egan [BComm(Hons)/23] sat with his fellow first-years, watching the 2017-18 Commerce Students’ Association (CSA) president, Shona Grewar [BComm(Hons)/19] address the attendees of the 2018 BComm Dinner.

He listened to a message that reaffirmed everything he’d heard about the Asper School of Business: get involved; there is something here for you. The message didn’t need to be new to be revelatory for him, who knew then that he wanted to get involved and one day encourage fellow students to do the same.

“I want that,” he thought. “I want to be the CSA president.”

And do that he did. Elected for the role for the 2021-22 academic year, he sat in the CSA offices one winter break reflecting on the year and what was next.

Months earlier, he’d been called to meet with then-Dean of the Asper School of Business, Gady Jacoby, who suggested he might be the right student to get a decades-long idea off the ground: an investment fund, managed by students, providing unmatched experiential learning opportunities and generating funding to directly support Asper students.

As he researched similar funds and imagined about what one could look like at Asper, he thought the 85-year history of the School, the 80-year history of the CSA and the 40-year history of The Associates of the Asper School of Business.

He had legacy on his mind.

“This investment fund is the thing,” he realized. “This is what I want my legacy to be, and I need to figure out how to make it happen.”

He is smart enough to know that legacy is rarely a solo endeavour and immediately began to think of who could help get the fund off the ground.

“The first step was getting the School on board,” he explains.

In 2022, he met with current Dean of the Asper School of Business, Bruno Silvestre, and was invited to a meeting with faculty to share the idea. Hours and hours of reading, researching and reimagining, condensed into a 15-minute pitch caught the attention of the Dean, Associate Deans and Department Heads.

With faculty interest high, he kept reaching out, quickly finding support from The Associates of the Asper School of Business, which is when things really ramped up.

He first hoped to raise at least $500,000 for the fund. Conversations with Arni Thorsteinson, President of The Associates of the Asper School of Business, and future Chair of the fund’s board, encouraged him to aim a little higher.

Last week, more than three years since that winter break, Connor Egan addressed a crowd of over 1,600 at the 2024 International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award (IDEA) Gala, the premier event of The Associates of the Asper School of Business, to announce that the Price Student-Managed Investment Fund (PSMIF) has raised over $3.5 million.

Just one week later at Spring Convocation, he will walk with his fellow Asper graduates in celebration of all they have accomplished during their unique BComm journeys.

In many ways, Connor Egan’s legacy so far is his ambition, his self-described eagerness to go for it, try new things and get something incredible off the ground. In many ways, his legacy is the PSMIF itself, (an initiative that deserves a much longer story and that is only touched upon here).

But the thing that seems to define him can also be found in another story.

On his sixteenth birthday, his brother gifted him a copy of The Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam, which inspired his love of finance. When asked what book he would gift to the graduating class of 2024, his answer is this same book.

Because Connor Egan is someone who vividly remembers the moments when he has been inspired and how much those moments have shaped his journey so far. He is someone who is too humble to suggest that he inspires younger students, but humble enough to admit that doing so would be an honour.

“If I could play a role in some younger student’s experience at Asper or just make them think about the different opportunities, that’s what this is all for at the end of the day: to hopefully get some students to not just go to class, go home and graduate and move on, but really get involved and to do all the amazing things that I was fortunate enough to be a part of.”

Be part of something amazing and learn more about getting involved at Asper as an alum here.

For information about supporting the Price Student-Managed Investment Fund, read more here.

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