United Way lauds U of T for support

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 10:51am
Jennifer Lanthier

Amid praise for students, staff and faculty who helped to raise more than $900,000 for the United Way in 2009, comes the call to do more in 2010.

Congratulations to U of T for a very successful United Way campaign, said Scott Mullin, vice-president, government and community relations, TD Bank Financial Group. Now -- surely a million dollar target is what the university should be aiming for next?

Mullin made the comments at a reception hosted recently by the Rotman School of Management, to recognize the generosity of United Way supporters at the university. Employee campaign chair Molly Yeomans acknowledged the challenge.

We turned a dream into reality, Yeomans said. Now we'll have to look for a new dream.

Two students received special leadership awards at the reception for their fundraising efforts. MBA student Shivanki Singh, 26, led a team that raised $10,001 through a week-long series of events including a silent auction and breakfast with Professor Roger Martin, dean of Rotman, while life sciences undergraduate Kimberly Shek, 19, brought the United Way campaign to a captive audience of hundreds through the Five Buck lunch at Hart House.

These students brought so much enthusiasm to the campaign, said Yeomans. And enthusiasm is half the battle in fundraising.

Students and the 1,000 employees and retirees who responded to the United Way's appeal demonstrated leadership through their donations and fundraising, said Quinn Bingham, campaign director for United Way Toronto. Referring to the 1970 essay in which Robert K. Greenleaf coined the term servant leader Bingham praised the enormous potential of U of T students.

The most effective kind of leadership is leadership for the service of others, Bingham said. You have so much to give and, in giving, so much to gain.

Mullin agreed, urging students to consider volunteering and giving back as an investment that will enrich their lives and offer an opportunity to make an impact on their communities.

Leadership is more than writing a cheque, said Mullin. It's also what you orchestrate, what you organize, and how you bring people together.

The University of Toronto Bookstore and Four Seasons Hotel Yorkville donated draw prizes to encourage participation in the United Way campaign.

Professor Ulrich Krull, vice-principal (research) at U of T Mississauga and a donor at the leadership level, said giving was a part of the culture of U of T. Awarded a $1,000 gift certificate from UofT Bookstore, Krull immediately began planning ways he could use the funds to support some of the outreach he does in the Mississauga community.

The university is a human mission, dedicated to lifelong learning and creating individuals who will make a difference, Krull said. If you have the opportunity to create change, why wouldn't you?