About Defy Gravity: The Campaign for the University of Toronto

The largest university campaign in Canadian history will harness the power of our worldwide community, including 640,000 alumni, 95,000 students, and 23,000 faculty and staff, for the betterment of humanity.

From pioneering work in the humanities to the breakthrough development of neural networks, the University of Toronto has a long history of tackling the impossible and transforming society through the ingenuity of its faculty, students, and alumni.  

In a world searching for positive change, we will build on this tradition to address some of the biggest challenges facing our city, country, and planet as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and grapple with this age of climate change, inequality, and mass technological disruption.  

Through our commitment to inclusive excellence, we will bring together top minds from every conceivable background and discipline to lead pandemic recovery and enable healthy lives, build inclusive cities and societies, create a sustainable future, spark creativity and culture, drive scientific discovery, power bold innovation and entrepreneurship, and support student success as we educate the next generation of creative, engaged, and empathic citizens. 

The campaign theme, Defy Gravity, reflects U of T’s history of advancing the frontiers of knowledge by transcending disciplines and borders in a diverse and inclusive community that emboldens students to think big—a community that accomplishes things no one else believed possible.

Our campaign has two ambitious goals to meet today’s challenges

A drawing of stylized male and female figures standing in a group. Image represents U of T’s alumni engagement goal.

For the first time in U of T history, the campaign will include a goal for alumni engagement: to inspire 225,000 alumni to get involved as volunteers, mentors, donors, participants, and leaders and encourage them to contribute their time and talent to the University one million times collectively.

A drawing of three raised hands. Image represents U of T’s fundraising goal.

The campaign will also seek to raise $4 billion for the University’s highest priorities, a goal commensurate with our excellence, the breadth of our aspirations, the global footprint of our faculty, students, alumni, and donors, and our potential for life-changing impact.

Join us, and together we’ll Defy Gravity. 

From revolutionary ideas to life-saving discoveries to game-changing innovations, our community has made an indelible mark on the world. As we prepare to embark on our third century, it is incredibly exciting to imagine what else we can achieve, together, for the good of the city around us, our country, and the planet we share with all humanity.

Meric Gertler,
President, University of Toronto

Learn more about the campaign

A man wearing gloves and goggles peers intently at an eyedropper.
Download our case for support
An artist’s illustration shows a building with overhanging upper floors. Transparent walls are covered with vertical slats.
Read our donation FAQs
Students walk along the sidewalk outside Robarts Library in autumn: image indicates a link to the campaign leadership team.
Meet our campaign leadership