York to the Power of 50: Paying tribute to York’s most generous

York University’s faculty, staff and students expressed their gratitude to the University’s most generous donors during the seventh annual Honour Court Dedication and Reception on Sept. 10. This year, a total of 65 donors were honoured for outstanding generosity that has enriched the lives of York students.

Above: Paul Marcus, Bill Hatanaka (BA ’77), Grace Yogaretnam, Mamdouh Shoukri, Tim Price and Paul Cantor raise their glasses in a toast

Held in the Lorna R. Marsden Honour Court & Welcome Centre, the annual event celebrates individuals, corporations and foundations that have made total contributions of $100,000 or more. The award-winning Honour Court structure contains a pavilion wall with granite stone blocks symbolizing varying levels of support.

“The engraved stones displayed here are a constant reminder of donor impact,” said York University President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “They feature many of you here today and represent a total of more than $250 million in pledges to York University since our founding in 1959.”

Shoukri offered further reason for praise with an announcement that the York to the Power of 50 campaign has exceeded $190 million pledged and is now closing in on its $200-million goal.

“What is so satisfying about this accomplishment is the broad-based support for York University,” he said. “Many people recognize the unique ability of this institution to make a positive difference. Alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and retirees, corporations, foundations, friends of the University – it’s truly a community effort.”

Shoukri went on to introduce a short video presentation showcasing some campaign highlights and what donor generosity has made possible at York, such as the Jean Augustine Chair in Education in the New Urban Environment and the Jay & Barbara Hennick Centre for Business & Law.

Another priority of the York to the Power of 50 campaign is the creation and enhancement of scholarships, bursaries and awards. Many students will face financial hardship in the coming year as a of result the continuing economic slowdown. The 50th Anniversary Bursaries & Awards Program was established to address the immediate needs of these students by raising $5 million in critical, expendable funds that can be distributed right away.

“Supporting bursaries, awards and scholarships has always been a priority for York to the Power of 50,” said York University Foundation President & CEO Paul Marcus. “This is different because it’s a one-time campaign, providing immediate help for returning students in financial difficulty.”

Grace Yogaretnam, a recipient of a William & Nona Heaslip Scholarship and speaker at the event, thanked donors for generous and ongoing financial support that has made it possible for students to realize their own sense of power, potential and place in the world.

“The investments you make today enable students like me to focus on how we can solve the world’s problems instead of how we might earn money for tuition, books and rent,” said Yogaretnam. “For this reason, your support not only helps students gain access to postsecondary education, but also helps us be better students, producing better research, helping to make the world a better place.”

During the final toast, Marcus thanked the donors for their continued support.

“It has been said that a dream is not a dream until you have someone to share it with,” he began. “On behalf of York University’s faculty, staff and students, thank you for sharing and supporting our dream.”

The donors inducted into the Honour Court in 2009 are:

Above: Peter Pekos (MSC ’86) represented Dalton Pharma Services

  • 407 ETR Concession Company Ltd.
  • Alexander O. MacGregor
  • Allen and Milli Gould Family Foundation
  • The Alva Foundation
  • Anne & Charles L. Dubin
  • Apotex Foundation – Honey and Barry Sherman
  • Aubrey and Judith Golden
  • Canadian Auto Workers
  • David F. Denison and Maureen Flanagan
  • Don Coles
  • The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
  • Foyston, Gordon & Payne Inc.
  • Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
  • Frederick G. and Betty I. MacKay
  • Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP

Above: Paul Cantor (right), chair of York University’s Board of Governors, and Helen Sinclair, honorary governor, have both been honoured for their charitable donations to the University

  • H. Sanford and Deborah J. Riley
  • Helen Sinclair and Paul Cantor
  • James P. O’Sullivan
  • John and Mary A. Yaremko Foundation
  • Joy and Barry Gales
  • Liisa L. North
  • M.G. Vassanji
  • Mary E. Lyons
  • May Cohen
  • Morris S. Smith Foundation, Larry & Sterling Franklin
  • Ogilvy Renault LLP
  • Paule Doré
  • Purdy Crawford
  • Rhombus Media Inc.
  • Richard D. Falconer
  • Robert A. Lawson
  • Sonja I. and Thomas J. Bata
  • St. Joseph Communications
  • The Family of Allan Robb Fleming
  • The Jay and Barbara Hennick Family Foundation
  • The Lillian and Don Wright Foundation
  • The Norman and Margaret Jewison Charitable Foundation
  • Torkin Manes LLP
  • Virginia J. Rock
Above: Maria Singer (left), Martin Singer, dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and Maxwell Gotlieb (BA ’72, LLB ’75, LLM ’97), member of York University Foundation’s board of directors, were among the many distinguished guests honouring York’s most generous donors

In addition, many donors continue to support York University year after year. Donors whose generosity has moved them to a new level of Honour Court recognition in 2009 include:

  • Ben Wicks and Family
  • Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.
  • Gary and Brenda Mooney
  • George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation
  • Goodmans LLP
  • Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co.
  • Invesco Trimark Ltd.
  • Jack and Anne Weinbaum and Family
  • Judith and Marshall Cohen
  • Kenaidan Group Ltd.
  • M.M. (Woody) Fisher and Valerie M. Grant
  • McCarthy Tétrault Foundation
  • Milton and Ethel Harris and Family
  • Nona Macdonald Heaslip and the late William A. Heaslip
  • Noor Cultural Centre
  • Rita Thompson
  • Robert W. and Patricia L. Martin
  • Rogers Communications Inc.
  • Rudolph P. Bratty
  • Steven K. Hudson
  • Susan Crocker & John Hunkin
  • The Law Society of Upper Canada
  • The Mirkopoulos Family & Cinespace Film Studios
  • The St. George’s Society of Toronto
  • Torys LLP
Above: President Emerita Lorna R. Marsden (left), for whom the Honour Court is named, and York supporter David Honderich

York to the Power of 50 is York University’s 50th anniversary fundraising campaign. Donations to the campaign support York’s academic and research priorities, in addition to its unique, interdisciplinary approach to learning and discovery.

For more information, visit the York University Foundation Web site.