The ‘Glendon Wedding’ – A Corporate Finance Project Marrying Curriculum with Innovation
“Are you coming to the wedding?”, demanded a multitude of posters in Glendon’s hallways in late February. The event was to take place on March 1st and the publicity elicited a host of questions from intrigued students. Who was getting married? Why at Glendon? Why this public invitation?
The Glendon Wedding was in fact a project of a 4th-year Glendon economics course on corporate finance taught by professor Robert Despatie. It was a new take on an annual assignment, in which students write an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the fall term. Just like the real ones in the business world, this IPO includes a project proposal and a budget detailing financing and costs. In the second semester, the students implement the plan within the Glendon community, enabling participants to apply the concepts learned in class and fostering students’ initiatives.
The wedding idea was the brainchild of a seven-member student team, composed of Amy Gowans, Daniel De Dominicis, Tracy Yee, Kristel Ng, Christian Bwarikukiye, Max Zelenine and Thomas Guillot. Their fictional company, called Magic Moments Corp. was designed to specialize in unique, tailored events and this was their ‘first project’.
Right: The bride: Aseel was given away by professor Despatie
“As part of our marketing strategy, we created a mystery around our event with the tag line ‘Are you coming to the wedding?’ ”, said Guillot. “People were really fascinated by these ads which started a buzz about the event.”
The organizers planned for 100 guests at $30/ticket (with semi-formal attire a must!) and sold every ticket, with requests for more. They issued shares to potential investors (anyone could be an investor) in order to finance the evening, and managed to recruit volunteers for photography, acting, a D.J., and leaders for party games. After covering expenses, the profits went to student scholarships disbursed by the Friends of Glendon, as well as some funds to allow for the operations of the Glendon Entrepreneurial Club.
The ‘wedding’, which was held in Glendon’s cafeteria, was a huge success both financially and also as an educational experience. "We wanted to capture the school spirit of the Glendon community”, said Daniel De Dominicis. “We chose this theme because weddings consist of an intimate crowd […] celebrating with their closest friends and families. This ‘wedding’ really showcased the kind of positive atmosphere we have at Glendon. It was a lot of fun, and it really worked!"
The team of Magic Moments Corp.:Max Zelenine, Christian Bwarikukiye, Daniel De Dominicis, Thomas Guillot, Amy Gowans, Kristel Ng and Tracy Yee
The evening had all the paraphernalia of a fancy nuptial, including: the ceremony, the dinner, some music and dancing, a theatrical performance – even the requisite drunken guest (part of the plans) who nearly upset the applecart. Professor Despatie had the honour of giving away the ‘bride’!
"At first I was a bit hesitant about the idea of organizing a mock wedding for a school assignment”, commented Amy Gowans. “I joined the group halfway through the project and developed a real appreciation for Glendon classes, which are so dynamic. I found this experience to be very enriching, because it incorporated active learning. Glendon has a great sense of community and I am happy to be a part of it."
Submitted by Thomas Guillot, president, Glendon Entrepreneurial Club and Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny