As we look ahead to the long weekend, I would like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving, and to highlight a great opportunity to give back to the community around us.
I’ve always supported U of T’s United Way Campaign, and this year I’m especially pleased to serve as Volunteer Cabinet Chair for the Education sector, helping to rally leaders in public education in Greater Toronto and York Region in support of this year’s Campaign.
I have frequently made the case that the global success of great universities rests on their local foundations. For example, our ability to attract great faculty, staff and students from across Canada and around the world depends to a large degree on the quality of life in our local region. That is one of the reasons why we are working hard to expand U of T’s collaboration with local partners in the communities around our three campuses, helping them address key challenges and take full advantage of opportunities. Despite the economic success of Toronto, we know that too many residents of this region are struggling to overcome poverty, illness, unemployment or other disadvantages. The United Way works with local organizations to build strong partnerships and deliver programs to help those members of our communities most in need of support. And by helping them to reach their potential, the United Way acts to strengthen our society as a whole.
Later this month, faculty, staff, and students will receive an invitation to support this year’s University of Toronto United Way Campaign. Please take a moment to consider joining this very important initiative, through which you can direct support to a number of very worthy causes. For every dollar you donate, only 15 cents goes to fundraising and administration costs, while 85 cents goes directly to meet basic needs like healthy meals, personal counselling and job training. The U of T community has always stepped up to support our annual United Way campaign, and I hope we’ll make an especially strong showing this year.
Together we can build a stronger and more inclusive Toronto region where everyone shares fully in the opportunities around us. Thank you for your consideration, and for all of your contributions to that crucial goal!
Professor Meric S. Gertler, President
October 6, 2016