Twenty-four-hour-long giving days are popular at many post-secondary institutions and charities across North America because they provide opportunities to harness the power of collective generosity and build community. Sana Halwani (JD 2004), president of the University of Toronto Alumni Association and member of the Defy Gravity Campaign Steering Committee, says she and her fellow board members are excited to participate in Giving Day. “Support contributes to a sense of belonging and is key to nurturing our students, staff, faculty members, volunteers and alumni,” she says.
Ultimately, Kennedy and Cassaday say that Giving Day on March 28 is about making an impact and strengthening what makes U of T an exceptional place. “By embracing diverse ideas, perspectives and cultures, U of T is creating a generation of thinkers who are willing to challenge orthodoxy, ask big questions and push boundaries,” says Cassaday. “It’s exciting and precisely what the world needs right now.”
As part of Giving Day, the university hopes to amplify stories about talented U of T students and researchers, including Nya Lazarus Munnick, a master’s student in Sustainability Management, whose research aims to help vulnerable communities enhance resiliency, social well-being and environmental sustainability; Amy Shawanda, who is conducting post-doctoral research in the Indigenization of public health at the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health; and first-year electrical and computer engineering student John David Genus who is working to ensure more students see future careers in STEM.