By Alex Hamlyn
Ryerson wants the GTA to know who sits on its Board of Governors, and they’re willing to slap down some cash to make it happen.
Hoping to attract donations and students, the school spent $35,000 to place an ad across the bottom of two pages in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and National Post newspapers last week. The ad showed all 24 members of the Board of Governors sitting on a bench alongside their names and positions.
The ad was the brainchild of Julia Hanigsberg, the board’s secretary, who had the idea ever since she began working at Ryerson.
“It’s something I’m really proud of,” she said. “It’s kind of edgy, kind of different.”
The ad was designed entirely in-house through the department of University Advancement. The photos were taken over the summer and it was decided that the ad should run on the last Monday of September to coincide with the board’s first meeting in the new school year.
Hanigsberg said she’d like to see the ad run annually, but nothing has been confirmed.
She said many of the board members have been flooded with e-mails from people who did not know they were on the board at Ryerson.
“No one has signed on for anything yet, but the reaction from everyone has been extremely positive,” she said.
Not everyone has reacted to the ad positively, however.
Some students were unsure of why such an ad was necessary, especially considering the cost.
“[The ad] doesn’t seem that appealing,” said Roma Verma, a third-year business management student.
“It would’ve been better if they did something different. The text and Ryerson logo should be bigger.”
A story was posted on the Ryerson website and an infoline e-mail was sent to staff and students, but the ad wasn’t run in any of the student papers.
She said the ad was not intended to run in the campus papers as most Ryerson students already know the Board of Governors, and it was more important to have it seen across the GTA by prospective students and business partners interested in the school.
Previously, ads dealing with the board were made when a new member joined. The ad would profile the new individual to illustrate the qualifications of those in charge of making decisions at Ryerson.
However, there has never been a public ad displaying the entire Board of Governors at once. President Sheldon Levy saw this as both a cost-effective alternative and an opportunity to acknowledge a board that he is “very proud of.”
“Those who look [at the ad] in terms of funding and confidence in the school will see we have some very significant people on board,” he said.
Levy said none of the board members received any pay for their work with the school, so the ad also acted as acknowledgment of their work.