School’s wallet thickens over the summer

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 By Jennifer McGregor

The team at Standard Broadcasting wants to help entrepreneurs of the future

Heather Parsons dreams of one day owning her own camera shop. The 21-year-old enterprise management and development student would model it after Parsons Photo Source, a small business her family owns and operates in Owen Sound, Ont.

A new pile of money from Standard Broadcasting Corp. to the Ryerson School of Business Management could bring her one step closer to realizing that dream.

Over the summer, two programs – Disability Studies and Business Management – received corporate sponsorship through fundraising initiatives. A gift from Standard Broadcasting will encourage students like Parsons to start thinking about their business goals. “This gives me inspiration to get the ball rolling. I am thinking about what I want to do,” she said.

For Parsons it could mean the makings of that very camera shop. “I would open up my own store. Every store is independently owned. I would have it as a second location in a different city,” Parsons said.

The Standard Broadcasting Entrepreneurs Award gives an annual $25,000 award over a decade to help students implement a business plan developed for class. A panel of faculty will evaluate student business plans to determine the winners. The team at Standard Broadcasting wants to help entrepreneurs of the future. “We think it is very important to promote growth and success in Canada,” said Allan Slaight, the executive chairman at Standard. “We’re very high on Ryerson. It’s a good institution.” The company’s contribution will total $250,000.

In another big announcement made on July 18, Royal Bank made a five-year donation of $750,000 to the School of Disability Studies, said Gordon Cressy, v.p. university advancement. He said the fundraising goal is 1-million dollars.

“It was very moving,” said Dr. Judith Sandys, the associate v.p. of academics and the former dean of community services. “It means a lot of things…better education and the opportunity to research.” The program will benefit in several ways. Part of the money will be used for curriculum development, Cressy said. Part of it was allocated for getting people as interns in the summer.

On July 23, a fundraising campaign by the school of retail management surpassed it’s goal of $2-million dedicated to scholarship funding. The project attracted dollar signs from high-profile companies such as Hudson’s Bay Co., Loblaws Supermarkets, Sears Canada, and Wal-Mart Canada.

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