White Rose Legacy Circle: Building a lasting legacy for York University

A lasting legacy is a goal that many people can spend a lifetime chasing. How will you be remembered? What will your impact be on this world once you’ve gone? How can your choices benefit those you leave behind?

The White Rose Legacy Circle is a unique group of planned-giving donors from York University’s vast alumni and friend community who have shaped their personal legacies through gifts that will benefit students, spaces and academic programs close to their own hearts. Launched on June 20, 2012, the Legacy Circle was established as a recognition society to honour alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and friends who have remembered York University in their wills or through other forms of planned gifts.

WhiteRoseBreakfast1From left, David Trick (BA ’77), board member of the York University Alumni Association; Vicky Drummond (MA ’76), coordinator of the Nellie Langford Rowell Library; Cynthia Archer, university librarian; and Lisa Gleva, director of principal gifts and university development, at the second annual White Rose Legacy Circle event

On Saturday, Sept. 28, as part of the 2013 Homecoming festivities, a breakfast was held to recognize and celebrate York’s growing White Rose Legacy Circle. The event, which was hosted by York’s President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and Vice-President Advancement Jeff O’Hagan, brought the University’s planned-giving donors together to connect, share their stories and discover how their legacies will impact students both now and into the future.

“The support of our White Rose Legacy Circle donors creates new opportunities for growth at York and further enhances our commitment to academic excellence for generations to come,” said Shoukri at the event. “The future gifts from our Legacy Circle, as well as those gifts that have already been realized, bring your legacies in line with the legacy of York University. These gifts help to support our students as we undertake exciting projects, such as the Lassonde School of Engineering Building, an upcoming library renovation and expansion, as well as the extension of the Toronto WhiteRoseOhagensubway system to our Keele campus.”

From left, Ann Wigle, Patricia Martin and Jeff O’Hagan, vice-president advancement, at the White Rose Legacy Circle breakfast

In the past 27 years, York has benefitted from more than $15 million in realized gifts, and York is currently aware of an additional $14 million pledged through the future gifts of our 110 current White Rose Legacy Circle members. “With this level of giving from our White Rose donor community, we will be able to ensure our long-term growth and continued success,” said O’Hagan. “Our donors mean a great deal to the University and legacy giving is one very special way that donors are able to make a positive and powerful impact at York.”

To demonstrate how important the contributions of our planned-giving donors are to York’s students, Linda Chen, a second-year York student and Schulich BBA candidate who received a scholarship award, joined the event and spoke about the difference that these gifts have made to her academic and professional success.

WhiteRoseBreakfastChenatPodiumSchulich School of Business student Linda Chen expressed how meaningful scholarships and awards are for York students

“You might often hear that money doesn’t buy you happiness, but I believe it truly makes a difference. I have a passion for our future and, like many others, aspirations for changing the world. With the necessary resources, such as scholarships, I and other students like me have the opportunity to realize these ambitions,” said Chen. “From an idealistic student’s perspective, I want to thank the members of the White Rose Legacy Circle for their support to York University because, with your generous gifts, I feel that we can all dream a little bigger.”

York’s White Rose Legacy Circle continues to grow with each passing year through new planned-giving donors who are choosing to include York in their legacy planning. Whether young or old, planned giving is an easy and impactful gift option for anyone wishing to be part of York University’s future. To hear stories from members of the Legacy Circle on their reasons for including York in their legacy planning, visit the Development website. For more information and to learn how you can take part, visit the White Rose Legacy Circle website.