Three sisters who attended the University of Toronto in the 1950s will leave a bequest to create an endowment at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. The funds will support the development of the library’s historical and literary collection.
Grace, Barbara and Sandra Heggie say U of T libraries played an important role in their lives while they attended university. “The stacks of the Sigmund Samuel Library provided a welcoming nest of information,” says Grace (BA 1959 St. Michael’s, MA 1961, BLS 1962). During their careers – Grace was a librarian, Sandra (MEd 1990 OISE/UT) a social worker and Barbara (BA 1959 St. Michael’s) a teacher – the sisters saw firsthand the important role libraries play in public education. “We can learn so much about other cultures and civilizations, and it is important to preserve this information,” says Grace. “The learning that has been fostered through the public library system since the 19th century is marvellous.”
The Heggies chose to support the Thomas Fisher library because of their interest in Canadian history and literature, and because it is open both to scholars and the general public. The sisters, who divide their time between Toronto and Gravenhurst, Ontario, credit their parents with encouraging their interest in post-secondary education at a time when it was still relatively unusual for women to attend university.