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Photo of Russell J. Morrison in front of a bookshelf
Russell J. Morrison

Russell J. Morrison Believed in Libraries

One of U of T’s most generous benefactors, he helped improve study spaces for students

Russell Morrison (MA 1947), who died at the age of 92 in October, was considered one of the best financial investors in Canada – and he was also one of the most generous investors in U of T students.

“No great university can function without great libraries and study spaces, and no benefactor has done more than Russell Morrison to raise the quality of those spaces for students at the University of Toronto,” says U of T president Meric Gertler.

Morrison, along with his wife, Katherine (PhD 1979), made possible the Morrison Pavilion – which doubled the amount of student space at the Gerstein Science Information Centre – and University College’s Morrison Hall student residence. In 2008, the Morrisons made a donation to revitalize Robarts Library – the largest private donation ever made to the renewal of a library in Canada. They made a further gift to support Robarts Common, a five-storey addition to the library that will soon be under construction.

Born in Saskatoon, Morrison earned an MA in economics from U of T. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve during the Second World War. Morrison worked in brokerage research early in his career, progressing to managing hundreds of millions of dollars in mutual funds. In 2014 he was appointed to the Order of Canada.

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