Toronto businessman and University College alumnus Mark Bonham (BComm 1982) has made a $1-million commitment to the University of Toronto’s Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, the largest the centre has received since its undergraduate program was founded in 1998.
Located at UC, the centre offers both major and minor undergraduate degree programs, hosts academic and community events, and promotes research into a variety of sexual identities, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and heterosexual. The centre – one of only a few in North America – acts as a hub for faculty and about 150 undergraduate and graduate students. It also serves as an academic resource for community members interested in understanding how society perceives sexual diversity and sexual practice.
“Mark has been a strong supporter of SDS for years,” says the centre’s director, Professor David Rayside. “His generosity and commitment made a real difference for our students in the early years of our undergraduate program. Now once again, and more dramatically than ever, Mark has shown great confidence in what we have accomplished, and in the dreams we have for the centre’s future.” Bonham’s gift will provide ongoing support for program expenses, distinguished academic visitors and conferences.
Born in Guelph, Ontario, in 1959, Bonham is chairman and CEO of Stoney Ridge Estate Winery in Vineland, Ont. He directs the M. Bonham Charitable Foundation and serves on the advisory board of the annual Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival in Toronto. In 1999, he received U of T’s Arbor Award for volunteer service to the university. “I’m proud to be able to support this important program at University College, and I’m pleased that this new endowment will enable the program to carry on well into the future,” says Bonham.