Finance firm gives business forum cash gift

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By Sharmila Thavagnanam

Ryerson’s business school just can’t compete with the big boys.

A Canadian finance company donated $3.75 million in endowment funding to the three Toronto business school.  York University walked away with $2 million and the University of Toronto took home $1.5 million.  Ryerson’s cut — $250,000.

“It’s still a lot of money,” said Ryerson business management professor Terry Sulymko.

The money, donated by the Newcourt Credit Group through the Toronto Community Foundation, is an endowment fund, meaning it will go into an account and the schools will use the interest earned off it to fund projects.

Ryerson’s gift is small compared to York and U of T, but this is partly because the school’s campaigning strategies differ, said Bruce Hurley, of Ryerson’s office of university advancement.

He said the other schools’ major fundraising campaigns allowed them to acquire larger sums, but he added Ryerson is working on better campaigns for the future.

The gift will be used for graduate research programs in finance at York and U of T, but Ryerson will use their share of the dough for the Ryerson Business Forum, part of the school of business.

“I’m quite proud of the fact that they gave the money to a students’’ group,” said Sulymko.

The Ryerson Business Forum, run by seven students and faculty advisor Sulymko, holds a discussion each year where people from the business community come out and talk about 400 students.

This year’s topic is the challenges businesses face in managing change.

The forum usually generates about $12,000 to $15,000 through sponsorships and ticket sales to pay for the event.  The endowment will double that amount, said Sulymko.

Michael Enright, a forum member and fourth-year business student, said the extra money will be used to organize bigger events.

“We’d like to take the forum to a larger level next year,” said Enright.  “We want to bring speakers from around the world and involve more schools.”

Newcourt’s gift of $250,000 will give Ryerson students exposure to business leaders in the community, said Hurley.  The business forum is “applied education,” Hurley said.  “It is the epitome of what Ryerson does.”

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