The University of Toronto capped off a year of birthday celebrations with the 175th Anniversary Gala at the Royal Ontario Museum on March 1. With former Ontario premier Bob Rae (BA 1969 UC, LLB 1977) as master of ceremonies, the gala featured an eclectic array of performers, including acclaimed Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman (BMus 1999), magician David Ben (BA 1983 UC) and the U of T Gospel Choir. Close to 500 alumni and friends attended the event, including 50 top students whose attendance was sponsored by the university and private donors. A silent auction featured such prizes as a signed limited edition of Margaret Atwood’s poem “The Moment,” lunch with pre-eminent U of T professors such as John Polanyi, and even a dogsledding adventure. The auction raised more than $34,000 toward the newly established 175th Anniversary Award, which is given to a student with high academic standing and outstanding leadership abilities. This year’s recipient is Jorge Sousa (MA 2000), a PhD candidate at OISE/UT in adult education and counselling psychology.
University Professor and Professor of Law Emeritus Martin Friedland (BCom 1955 UC, LLB 1958) launched the university’s 175th anniversary festivities last March with the release of his book The University of Toronto: A History.