Richard Rooney (BA 1977 New), a long-time supporter of New College, recently teamed up with the New College Student Council to build a plaza on Willcocks Street outside the college. After students pledged $150,000 towards the plaza, Rooney, who is President and CIO of Burgundy Asset Management, was inspired. He generously gifted the remaining $650,000 needed to fund the project for the College that provided him with years of happy memories.
Richard: “I come from a very small town and so for me, U of T was an extraordinarily exciting adventure. Some of my first-year classes at New had more people in them than my hometown! Being in residence provided me with a great experience where I met people from all over the country, and where I felt very comfortable.
“The plaza project appealed to me because the quad off Willcocks Street was lacking in some character. Mind
you, for years, I defended New College’s rather unusual design! The new plaza will provide a beautiful and functional space that will welcome students and visitors and provide a meeting place for them, while complementing that iconic architecture.
“But the clincher for me was when I heard New College students had voted to raise $150,000 of their own money. The best people to assess the importance of any project are the people who will live with it every day. I am proud to support their efforts, especially at New College which played such a pivotal, positive role in my life.”
By bringing artificial intelligence into chemistry, Prof. Aspuru-Guzik aims to vastly shrink the time it takes to develop new drugs – and almost everything else