Donations to York up 38 per cent


Above, left to right: Paul Marcus, Marshall Cohen, Lorna R. Marsden and Tim Price one year ago, celebrating the launch of the York University Foundation.

The University’s fundraisers are celebrating a birthday. Carrie Brodi, communications officer, York University Foundation, sent this account to YFile.

On the one-year anniversary of the York University Foundation’s launch, $14.8 million has been raised across the University, a 38-per-cent increase over last year, including 50 gifts and pledges each worth $25,000 or more – from alumni, generous benefactors and the local community in support of York faculties, students, research, programs and buildings.

“We are very encouraged by the progress of our first year,” commented Tim Price, chairman of Brascan Financial and Chair of the York University Foundation Board of Directors. “It’s a great beginning, made possible by the tremendous support and vision of the University, and the strength of the foundation team.”

The York University Foundation, created as a separate fundraising entity with its own volunteer board of directors, represents an innovative approach to fundraising and building leadership. Hailed by the University as the “promise of the future,” the foundation has already attracted 17 top business and community leaders to its board, including John Hunkin (left), chairman and CEO of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Ivan Fecan (right), president and CEO of Bell Globemedia.

“We welcome the talent and dedication these successful York graduates and friends bring to the University,” said Marshall Cohen, Chair of York’s Board of Governors. “As innovators in their fields, they will help York reach new fundraising heights.”

Individual faculties are continuing to build their own volunteer advisory councils, composed of accomplished York alumni and friends. The Faculty of Fine Arts, one of the largest and most comprehensive visual and performing arts education centres in North America, recently recruited an outstanding 14-member, “Who’s Who” of Canadian entertainment, including comic actor, writer and director Eugene Levy (left), and fashion journalist Jeanne Beker (right).

“We congratulate the foundation on a fantastic first year,” said Lorna R. Marsden, president and vice-chancellor of York. “The new funding and leadership to the University in the past 12 months reflects York’s diversity and uniqueness. We look forward to continued success.”

A broad range of gifts including significant corporate donations, planned gifts of life insurance and bequests, and community donations fuel the daily momentum and focus of the foundation.

“The one recurring theme of the past year,” said Paul Marcus, president and CEO of the York University Foundation, “has been the extraordinary number of people I’ve met who truly care about and want to support the York University community.”

In its second year, the foundation will continue to increase donations by identifying new major donors, engaging support from diverse communities, building a more sophisticated annual giving program and increasing support for research. Upcoming events include the third annual Tribute Communities – York University Chair’s Cup Golf Tournament to raise funds for graduate student scholarships; an Honour Court reception to recognize leadership donors; and a first-year celebration dinner presented by the Metropolitan Hotel in September to personally thank foundation donors, volunteers and friends.