University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine
Photo of Richard Rooney.
Photo courtesy of Richard Rooney

“Proud to Support their Efforts”

Richard Rooney was always a staunch defender of New College's "rather unusual design." Now he's helping students build a new plaza

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.”

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