Make Rye your last dying wish

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By Alexandra Macaulay Abdelwahab

Forget about dodging tuition fees. Ryerson wants you to dole out cash after you die.

This fall, Ryerson is launching a campaign to encourage alumni, faculty and staff to leave “planned gifts” of money in their wills and then tell the school about their intentions.

Pamela Shanks, executive director of development at university advancement said the school knows of 44 people who have Ryerson in their wills and five people who have included Ryerson in their life insurance plans.

Those who leave money are inducted into the Egerton Ryerson Society, an organization that recognizes the contributions of donors.

According to Shanks, the school has received five donations from wills in the last few years, in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $500,000.

Regardless of the amount, President Sheldon Levy appreciates all donations.

“Every time someone thinks about your university as worthy of what they have made, you feel they’ve made an important decision about you.”

Bev Dales, who graduated from merchandising administration in 1960, has Ryerson in her will.

A percentage of her estate will go to the faculty of business when she dies. “I’m only 70 years of age. I don’t plan to die soon,” she said.

Dales contributes to the school on a monthly basis. She decided to add Ryerson to her will in 2000, while sitting on the Board of Governor’s finance committee as the alumni representative.

When Tas Venetsanopoulos, vice-president research and innovation, worked at the University of Toronto as dean of engineering, he saw $2 million to $5 million come into the engineering school each year from estate donations.

Charmaine Hack, director of undergraduate admissions and recruitment, supports the idea of planned giving.

Although Hack doesn’t currently have Ryerson in her will, she said she’ll definitely consider it. “Absolutely. Assuming, of course, I win the lottery,” she said, laughing.

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