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Why They Give

Why these alumni gave to U of T

When Gordon Noakes (BASc 1946) was a student at the University of Toronto he received a $55 scholarship established with the help of a private donation. Although he moved to the Detroit area, where he pursued a career in the automotive and plastics industries, he never forgot U of T and the help he got. That’s why, when they heard about a matching program for graduate scholarships, he and his wife Vera decided it was time to carry on the tradition of generosity. Their $300,000 gift to U of T was matched five to one through the Ontario Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology program and will create six scholarships in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. Each permanently endowed scholarship is worth $15,000 a year and will benefit students working in electrical and computer engineering, biomedical engineering and aerospace studies. “U of T gave me the great education which helped me to succeed in life,” says Noakes. “I just figured it was time to pay the bill.”

“I’ve had five years to establish my career and pay off student loans, and now I am in a position to start contributing.” Lillian Tang Smith (BA 1993 VIC), who began giving to the annual fund at Victoria University last year, dividing her gifts between the Library of the Future, scholarships and bursaries and the renovation of the Burwash residences.

“It’s because of Robert that I continue to give. The university was very dear to his heart and he remained involved in the school all his life.” Sheila Hicks explaining why she gives to the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. Her late husband, Robert Laing Hicks (BASc 1945, MComm 1956) who died in 1984, was president of the U of T Alumni Association from 1966 to 1968 and served as an executive member of the Faculty of Management’s Alumni Association.

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