York alumni showcased at Showhouse


Linda Schwartz (BA ’74) of Linda Schwartz Interior Design; Janet Williams (BA ‘91) of Janet Williams Interiors; Katherine Newman (BA ‘88), principal designer of Katherine Newman Design; Elizabeth de Jong-Greer (BA ‘86), principal designer of de Jong Designs, and Marni Schecter-Taylor (BA ‘93), all have one project in common: the Junior League of Toronto’s (JLT) Glendon Showhouse renovation project that is wowing so many members of the public.

Marika Kemeny, Glendon public relations & communications adviser, sent YFile the following article, focusing on the Glendon alumni.

At times it seems like all roads lead to Glendon. Two of the designers who worked on the Junior League of Toronto (JLT) Glendon Showhouse renovation project, open to the public May 8 to June 6, are graduates of Glendon: Katherine Newman (BA ‘88), principal designer of Katherine Newman Design, and Elizabeth de Jong-Greer (BA ‘86), principal designer of de Jong Designs.

Newman has redesigned the main floor living-room space of Glendon Hall (formerly the bookstore) and de Jong-Greer worked on the sunroom on the second floor, facing the library and the rose garden.

Left: Katherine Newman

                               Right: Elizabeth de Jong-Greer


Remembering her experience as a student at Glendon with great fondness, Newman said, “I had been accepted at many universities, but I chose Glendon, not only because of the small scale of the school with its excellent student-teacher ratio, but also for its wonderful aesthetic. I remember Glendon in the fall, especially the view of the ravine from the beautiful library. I loved the university, and almost considered pursuing a career in sociology.

“As it turned out, I attended Osgoode Hall Law School, but subsequently dropped out and pursued my career in interior design.… I returned to Glendon College and finished my BA in the late 1980s, and I’m finding it quite nice to return to Glendon now to participate in this project,” said Newman. “My grandparents had been to the Glendon Wood [family] residence so many times, and I’m finding it ironic to be doing work on a property that has been such a perennial part of my life experience. The campus, the environment, and the setting will always bring back lovely memories.”

The Pathways to Education Program, which is the beneficiary of the fundraising efforts of the JLT Glendon project finds yet another Glendon alumna connection. Marni Schecter-Taylor (BA ‘93), director of development & communications for the Pathways to Education Program, talks in superlatives about her experience at Glendon, from the small classes and devoted faculty members, to the peace and beauty of the campus and the outstanding academic level of the courses.

Schecter-Taylor has been working for the Pathways to Education Program for the past three years. She has thus had what she defines as “the great fortune” of witnessing its growth from brilliant seedling idea to a program model touted as “the answer to breaking the cycle of poverty” by the city’s, the province’s and the country’s greatest thinkers and community leaders.

                                                                     Right: Marni Schecter-Taylor

“When I learned that the JLT 2004 Showhouse featuring Toronto’s top designers was being held at my alma mater, it was the icing on the cake!”

Schecter-Taylor offers the following information and advice to her fellow alumni:

  • Keep encouraging young people to attend Glendon because it is a unique springboard to a world of opportunities in a climate that is increasingly diverse;
  • Visit the Glendon Showhouse between May 8 and June 6, 2004, because the money raised will help support the programs of the Junior League of Toronto whose volunteers make our world a better place;
  • Every ticket you buy helps to break the cycle of poverty for at-risk, economically disadvantaged young people via the Pathways to Education Program.