By Alexandra Yeboah
Ryerson’s endowment fund has climbed to a record $61 million, triple the number since 2003 when it was at $20 million.
The fund, which provides support for scholarships, awards and bursaries has tripled in the last five years. “It didn’t just happen overnight,” says Bob Baker, an executive director of alumni development.
“The endowment fund was built over many years, its had substantial growth.” Adam Kahan, VP University Advancement, agrees. “The growth of our fund has grown more than the endowments of other universities.
This is something we’d like to contiune.” Ryerson received donations from big-name contributors such as Ted and Loretta Rogers, as well as from corporations like ScotiaBank and BellGlobe Media.
There were also many private donors who contributed to individual departments at Ryerson. The Rogers donated $15 million to Ryerson, $10 million of which went to student scholarships.
Of the fund, $47 million will go towards student scholarships, $11.5 million will go towards six research chairs and $2.5 million will go towards other academic programs.
With the help of the Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS) over the past two years, the fund has grown tremendously. The OTSS, who gave $8 million last year, matches the donations that donors give to the school.
“Donors are inspired to give when there’s a matching opportunity made for student support,” Baker says. Donors such as Eaton and BellGlobe Media donated $2 million each to go towards creating a research chair and having it named after them.
The fund doubled from $10 million in 2000 to $20 million in 2003. In 2006, the fund was $38 million and in 2007, it was $49 million. “Our endowments are still relatively small compared to other universities, but we are certainly moving up the pack at a very significant rate,” President Sheldon Levy said.
In order to keep the endowment fund’s success, Kahan says the school must continue to raise as much money as possible, see good returns on their investments and continue to receive fund matching from the government.