York to the Power of 50: Cheers to York’s most generous donors

York’s faculty, staff and students raised their glasses in thanks to the University’s most generous donors at the Sixth Annual Honour Court Dedication and Reception on June 11. This year, 22 donors were inducted while six others were recognized for their continued support of the University and upgraded to a new recognition level.

Held at the Lorna R. Marsden Honour Court and Welcome Centre, this annual event celebrates individuals, corporations and foundations with total contributions of $100,000 or more in support of the University.

Right: Terrie-Lynne Devonish (left), Tim Price, Paul Marcus, Aidan Flatley, Bramilee Dhayanandhan and Mamdouh Shoukri join in a toast honouring past and present Honour Court donors

"As we prepare to celebrate our 50th anniversary, York’s reputation as a leading interdisciplinary university is growing," said President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. "It’s growing because of our academic excellence, because we are committed to intensifying research in the service of society, and because of the generosity of donors like you, who allow us to dream and build the University of the future."

Left: Susan Mullin (left), vice-president, development, at the York University Foundation, 2008 Honour Court inductee Jan Hatanaka and Paul Marcus

York University Foundation President & CEO Paul Marcus went on to highlight several of the new inductees, including Michael and Janet Scott and family for their contributions to the new Chair in E-librarianship, which will put York University Libraries at the forefront in discovering better ways to access information using the Internet and related technologies. In addition, the W.P. Scott Charitable Foundation, whose president Barbara Houlding was in attendance, was thanked for enabling renovations to expand and enhance study space for students within the Scott Library.

Right: This year’s Honour Court inductees for the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu-Chi Foundation of Toronto include, from left, Elsa Chang, Stephany Liu, Jessie Hsu, Peter Lin and Vincent Lu 

Another important area where donors are making a tremendous difference is by transforming students’ lives with scholarships and awards. Bramilee Dhayanandhan, one of the inaugural recipients of the prestigious Lillian Wright Maternal-Child Maternal Health Scholars Program and a speaker at the event, was amazed at the spirit of the donors who helped make her scholarship possible.

"Education is as good as the people you learn from," said Dhayanandhan. "Many graduate students come to York because they know we have some of the leading thinkers in their field – thanks in no small part to your gifts for Chairs and professorships." She went on to thank the donors for their commitment to innovation at York and its growing infrastructure.

Left: John Hunkin (left), former CEO of CIBC, honorary member of the York Board of Governors and current member of the York University Foundation Board of Directors, and Richard Fisher, chief marketing officer of York University

In the spirit of honour, Tim Price, chair of the York University Foundation’s Board of Directors and co-chair of the York to the Power of 50 Campaign, announced that the campaign has now reached the $160 million mark towards its $200 million goal. "What is so satisfying about this accomplishment is the broad-based support for York," he said. "Alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends alike recognize the unique ability of this institution to make a positive difference – it’s truly a community effort."

Right: Honour Court inductees Sarah Scott (left), Michael Scott and Janet Scott with Mamdouh Shoukri

As the reception drew to a close, Marcus asked Price, Dhayanandhan and Shoukri, along with Terrie-Lynne Devonish, chief counsel of AON Consulting, member of the University Board of Governors and member of the campaign executive, and Aidan Flatley, CEO of Kenaidan Contracting Ltd., member of the Foundation Board of Directors and member of the campaign executive, to join him in a toast honouring past and present Honour Court donors. "We thank you all for ensuring our Honour Court walls climb higher and higher and we value all you do for us."

The stones inducted into the Honour Court in 2008 are:

Jack Bitton and Joseph Bitton
Ronald A. Brash
Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu-Chi Foundation Toronto
Barry Callaghan
Donald F. Hunter Charitable Foundation
Sandra Faire Fecan and Ivan Fecan
Penelope Jane Glasser
Jan & Bill Hatanaka
Erivan & Helga Haub
Ignat Kaneff and Family
Diane V. Michelangeli
Mariposa Folk Foundation
Robert and Patricia Martin
McLean Budden
Jay Newman
W. Gunther Plaut & Elizabeth S. Plaut
RBC Capital Markets
Michael & Janet Scott and Family
SNC Lavalin
The Law Society of Upper Canada
W.P. Scott Charitable Foundation
York University Development Corporation

Those members whose continued generosity has moved them to a new level of Honour Court recognition in 2008 are:

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
M.M. (Woody) Fisher and Valerie M. Grant
Great-West Life, London Life & Canada Life
James M.H. Wu

For more information about the campaign or to view the full list of Honour Court donors, visit the York University Foundation Web site.