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U of T launches $200 million campaign to nurture the next generation of engineers

Rayla Myhal, Dean Cristina Amon, and campaign chair George Myhal (IndE 7T8) at the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering’s Afternoon of Engineering Innovation event (photo by Brooke Cooper)

U of T’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering kicked off their $200-million campaign with an “Afternoon of Engineering Innovation ” which showcased innovative, visionary and entrepreneurial ideas from students and faculty. The event, attended by more than 600 alumni, donors, faculty, students, staff and members of the Engineering community, featured lectures, industry panels with alumni, and student exhibits at Convocation Hall and the Bahen Centre.

Professor Cristina Amon, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, announced the success to date of the Faculty’s campaign, which has already secured more than $80-million towards its $200-million goal – the largest-ever fundraising initiative for an engineering school in Canada. “U of T Engineering is Canada’s best engineering Faculty. Our goal is to build on our reputation for excellence, and establish ourselves into the very top ranks of the world’s leading institutions for engineering education, research and innovation,” said Amon. “This campaign will engage our global network of alumni and friends to build a preeminent Faculty that will nurture the U of T world-class engineer of tomorrow.” In her address, Amon outlined the campaign’s five areas of focus: developing global engineering leaders; nurturing engineering innovation and entrepreneurship; revolutionizing biomedical engineering and human health; advancing information communications technology; and reshaping the future of energy, the environment and sustainability.

Building the Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship is a core priority. Located on St. George Street, beside Simcoe Hall and Convocation Hall, the centre will be a landmark building at the University of Toronto. The nerve centre for the Faculty’s collaborative learning and interdisciplinary research, it will feature dynamic, flexible environments that foster collaboration, encourage active learning and accelerate innovation. “To continue attracting preeminent faculty and outstanding students we need to build an environment that fosters creativity and inspires 21st-century learning and innovation,” said Amon. 

“Today’s campaign launch was a window on the kind of limitless innovation and creativity that takes place every day at U of T Engineering,” said David Palmer, U of T’s Vice-President of Advancement. He applauded campaign chair George Myhal for his extraordinary leadership, and his generosity. Myhal, a U of T Engineering alumnus and Chief Operating Officer and Senior Managing Partner of Brookfield Asset Management, has given a $5-million gift to the Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship. “I received an outstanding education from U of T that I am thankful for,” said Myhal. “Given changes to technology and its impact on our lives, engineering will have a higher profile and more importance in the world than when I was a student. It’s important for the Faculty to play a part in this new era for engineering.”

Dean Amon also recognized Bill and Kathleen Troost for their $2-million gift towards space for the Institute for Leadership  Education in Engineering (ILead). “Bill and Kathleen Troost’s gift will provide a home for ILead and allow leadership education at U of T Engineering to take a significant step forward,” she said.  She also acknowledged Peter Allen for his $1-million gift to the new building. “Peter Allen believes in the vision for the Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and his gift is an inspiration to faculty, students and future donors,” said Amon. Dean Amon spoke of Paul Cadario – who is a Distinguished Senior Fellow in Global Innovation at the Faculty and the Munk School for Global Affairs – for his dedication and his $1-million gift to the Centre for Global Engineering (CGEN). “Paul Cadario’s gift to CGEN is a reflection of his life’s work helping to build prosperous, sustainable and peaceful societies.” Also at the event, Dean Amon acknowledged Walter Curlook who provided a $1-million gift toward lab space. “Walter Curlook’s gift will build vital state-of-the-art lab space benefiting our students and faculty.

The campaign for U of T Engineering is an integral part of U of T’s $2-billion Boundless campaign, which has secured more than $1.1-billion to date. Through the Boundless campaign, U of T seeks to address the pressing global challenges that affect us all, by preparing global leaders who have the skills to work across borders, boundaries and disciplines.

September 17, 2012