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The Human Investor Part X

Author : John E David

Submitted : 2012-02-17 04:21:54    Word Count : 975    Popularity:   11

Tags:   Emile, Gouiran, art, philosophy, philantropy, children, orphanages, veteran, entrepreneur, investor, management, money, innovation, juvenile, business, haynes, Jim Haynes

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For Emile Gouiran’s global philanthropic ambitions, funding education and their facilities was but a means to an end. While his global contribution to the field was substantial, he desperately wanted to go beyond and reach out to impact on the teaching experience itself. Emile explained : “Just seeing a beautifully reproduced facsimile of Jean Paul Sartres’ notes for his debates on Christian Existentialism with my father, himself a well known philosopher, author and professor in the academic sector, triggers an immediate reaction “the blood and tears of my father’s actual experience standing on that dais.”’ And, Gouiran continues: “Having the documents—I don’t want to say you exactly bypass—but you render yourself less dependent on the narrative summary of the textbook.” With the cobwebs of ideology or ed-school-speak swept away, the historical record, with a little help from Gouiran’s philanthropy and commentary, can speak for itself and leave lasting impressions.
 
The Donemiran Foundation which Emile Gouiran chairs, contributed $ 28 million to finance the Gouiran Education Fund, destined to enhance the education experience of orphans and underprivileged children and young adults by funding the acquisition of historical records or facsimile. Gouiran’s efforts were not limited to institutions however, he made a point to also go to the students directly ; with 20 grants to fund full term historical studies, grants for SAT preparation to underprivileged high school students, all-expenses-paid summer seminars for orphan and disadvantaged college undergrads, and traditional fellowships for graduate students.
 
To reach a broader audience, Gouiran ordered well designed kits of the materials—document facsimiles, posters, podcasts, CDs, and so on, all arranged by era—for distribution to the general public by way of public or school libraries. Gouiran says “Our effort not only presents history but the minds we nurture will make it.”
 
Always on the lookout for the big new idea in philanthropy as in investing, Gouiran had found a bonanza in Education, notably history, his passion, but the Arts and Humanities. This yielded a host of activities beyond the charter of the Gouiran Education Fund. Set in motion was the regular purchase of important historical works amongst which impressive works of art. Gouiran explained : “Once you start collecting works of art, there is simply no limit to the extent of your choices”. Ever the investor, Gouiran readily acknowledges that he often reasons that he shouldn’t indulge, but, not entirely free of impulsive behavior he proceeds with the acquisition.
 
The next thing Gouiran knew, he got dinner invitations from politicos of various ilks, educators and other foundation trustees. This sudden popularity helped Gouiran make great strides to speed up the editing, publication, and digitizing of the Education Fund’s collection of historical papers and artifact.
 
Education is desperate for money, ideas, and talent. As a whole, public institutions barely survive year after year of disastrous management, a ruinous, mold-breeding flood in sometimes treasure-crammed dilapidated buildings.

Gouiran made a reputation for his uncanny ability to recruit talented and energetic managers, noting “If you want to be a great educational institution, you don’t need just capital, you need intellectual capital.”
 
“My whole philosophy” says Gouiran “ is to provide opportunity for orphans and disadvantaged youth, illegitimate, immigrant, the unwanted, with an opportunity to rise on sheer talent and merit and grit”. This is Gouiran’s story as many who know him put it. Gouiran drive is motivated to ensure that the beneficiaries of his philanthropy are provided with opportunity to become enterprising persons, able to rise as high as their potential will take them.
 
It is Gouiran’s vision to remove the obstacles to growth—educational, political, systematic. This vision impelled him to found the Vindication Capital Fund, an organization well known for its assistance to the criminal defense bar in many jurisdictions. Vindication is pledged to provide funds to defend orphans and disadvantaged youth taken in the claws of over-zealous prosecutors.
 
Gouiran’s work is a flourishing attraction, on a growth path of its own. It has a rich and popular roster of accomplishments. In France, Gouiran is building a children’s museum near Orléans and the orphanage he himself occupied, which will be dedicated to the memory of the accomplishments of orphans and disadvantaged youth that have overcome their dire beginnings. The Davalaven Foundation is also raising an endowment with the help of an $11.5 million challenge gift from Gouiran that awaits matching funds.
 
The belief that children, orphans, abandoned, unwanted, the scourge of society, a fitting description of his own origins, are capable of rising to overcome their disadvantage underlies all of Gouiran’s philanthropy. Emile Gouiran in a conference, in 2004, stated : “I’m confronted regularly with the comment that the rich ought to give something back to society, with the statement by some of the same rich that since they have done well they want to give something back – that aggravates me – I cannot support the inference that those who have made it are somehow hollowing their place in the world and that unless they give some back, they’ll visit pain and destruction upon that world. It’s exactly the other way around in my view.”
 
“The self-starters in the entrepreneurial world I know are at the source of an avalanche of employment, not only theirs, but that of those of their collaborators, their merchandise suppliers and their service providers. What on earth is there to give back ? Why shouuld they give ? The only reason I can focus upon is that you give to avoid that the next generation suffer the pitfalls and hardships of our days and have the opportunity to maximize their potential.

People who live in our world and who focus, know first-hand about returns for a next generation. To the grand roster of benefactors, future generations will undoubtedly add the name of Emile E. Gouiran.

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Jules R. Bryson is a respected author, researcher and biographer who lives and works in England.

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