By Alanna Rizza
Over 100 people gathered at the Ryerson Image Arts Centre on Nov. 28 to celebrate the opening of the Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute (SRFI). In attendance was Toronto Mayor John Tory and philanthropist and fashion enthusiast Suzanne Rogers, herself.
“Today we are making an investment in Canadian fashion and more importantly in talented individuals who will shape the industry’s future and elevate Canadian design on the world stage,” Rogers said.
SRFI was created to help students in their final year of design and those seeking employment after graduation by building network opportunities. The fellowship will be offered to third and fourth year students as well as recent graduates. In October, Rogers donated $1 million to Ryerson for the fellowship. However, in the past the Rogers family has supported the university through donations of almost $34 million.*
“[SRFI] is the first scholarship program in fashion and design initiated in Canada. It serves as a springboard for participates to ignite their careers both at home and abroad,” Rogers said.
Tory also spoke about how the fashion industry is important for the growth of Toronto.
“The fashion industry not only generates a lot of economic activity but it is key itself to attracting the best and the brightest to come to Toronto,” he said.
He added that Ryerson has been a major contributor to Toronto city building.
“Even from long before I was the mayor I could see the university transform itself into something that is now is an incredibly vibrant and dynamic part of our city.”
Lachemi thanked Rogers for her decades of contribution to the university and that she is a “great friend” to Ryerson.
“I can tell you that Ryerson, and Ryerson students in particular, could not have a more articulate and enthusiastic supporter than Suzanne Rogers,” Lachemi said. “She wants to help put their talent on the map.”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Suzanne Rogers made a $34 million donation to the fashion program. In fact, the entire Rogers family made the $34 million donation to various programs at Ryerson.