Financial industry leader, philanthropist and U of T alumnus Warren Goldring died in April, but his legacy will live on at U of T through his visionary contributions to the university.
Goldring graduated from U of T in 1949 with a bachelor of arts, and attended University College. He was best known as the founding father of Canada’s mutual fund business and co-founder of AGF Management, one of the country’s largest independent investment management firms. U of T president David Naylor calls Goldring “a true pioneer” in the mutual fund industry. “Warren Goldring had cast-iron integrity, an inspiring generosity of spirit and a wonderful twinkle in his eye,” says Naylor. “He was a great Canadian.”
Goldring was also deeply committed to meaningful causes. Jon Dellandrea, U of T’s former vice-president and chief advancement officer, says Goldring “loved the University of Toronto” and “looked for nothing in return” as he gave generously of his time and resources.
Dellandrea was introduced to Goldring in the mid-1970s during the university’s earliest major private funds campaign. Dellandrea described him as a “superb conceptual thinker” who dreamed up U of T’s first fundraising promotional video – a revolutionary concept back then. Goldring’s penchant for forward-thinking then led him to establish the Committee of 1,000 with an aim to solicit $1,000 from each of 1,000 donors. This initiative paved the way for U of T’s current donor appreciation society, The Presidents’ Circle, which now has 4,000 members.
Keenly interested in national issues, Goldring decided to sponsor an endowed chair in Canadian Studies at U of T in 1999. He was also an executive member of the University College Alumni Association for several years – one of his many volunteer roles at the college. Recently, Goldring and his family donated $15.1 million to the university. The gift will support the creation of the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport on Devonshire Place; the construction of the Goldring Student Centre at Victoria College; and the restoration of Soldiers’ Tower. In 1991, Goldring received a U of T Arbor Award for outstanding volunteer work with the university. In 2003, he received an honorary doctorate of laws from U of T.
Goldring is survived by his wife, Barbara, his children, Blake, Jane, Bryce and Judy, and his many grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter, Jill.