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$5-Million Gift To Ryerson University Supports Innovation In Engineering And Computing

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November 24, 2005

Source: Ryerson University:

$5-Million Gift To Ryerson University Supports Innovation In Engineering And Computing

A $5-million gift to Ryerson University by the Honourable George W. and Helen Vari will enhance Ontario's capacity for innovation and economic development - and provide major benefits for students.

The gift has been directed to the University's new, state-of-the-art engineering and computing facility. To honour the gift, Ryerson University has named the building the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre.

"This is wonderful news for students and faculty at Ryerson University," said President Sheldon Levy. "George and Helen Vari have made a landmark gift for a landmark building, one that will have a profound influence on the educational experience of our students for many years to come, and one that provides us with infrastructure to develop our growing reputation for research and innovation. We are well positioned to deliver the kind of education our students need, and to deliver real benefits for our economy. On behalf of the University, I want to express my sincerest gratitude to George and Helen Vari for their generosity and their vision."

The Government of Ontario and Sears Canada were major contributors to the building of the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre. Sears Canada donated the land on which the Centre was built. Generous contributions have also been received from Cansult Limited; J.E. (Ted) Graham; Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life; Lawrence C. Karlson; Lafarge Canada Inc.; Andrew and Valerie Pringle; Sun Life Financial; Alex Taylor; and the Toronto and Area Road Builders Association.

"The Government of Ontario's contribution has been essential to the development of this building, and to the ongoing success of Ryerson University. The support of the province allows us to deliver real results for our students," President Levy said. "We are also so grateful for the support of the generous corporate and private donors whose contributions speak to the strong links Ryerson treasures with its many partners in the community."

The Varis, Sears Canada, and other donors join a distinguished group of community and business leaders, and corporations, who are giving generously to Ryerson's innovative programs, research, and facilities. The University's ambitious Invest in Futures campaign has now reached $81 million - over 80% of the goal -- in a few short years.

The George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre benefits undergraduate and graduate engineering and science students. Designed by Toronto-based Moriyama & Teshima Architects, the 225,000-square-foot Centre covers most of a city block (on Church Street between Dundas and Gould Streets), and features wireless classrooms, specialized research facilities and spacious laboratories.

The Centre is home to outstanding programs in Aerospace, Computer Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. Undergraduate and graduate students from other programs within Ryerson's Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Science, one of the largest of its kind in Canada, also benefit from the building.

Among the leading-edge research facilities housed in the Centre are the Civil Engineering Structures Laboratory, the Facility for Research in Aerospace Materials and Engineered Structures, and the Ryerson Institute for Aerospace Design and Innovation, which enables top undergraduate Engineering students, primarily from Aerospace Engineering, to work on industry-assigned design and research projects. Facilities housing some of Ryerson's outstanding research projects are also located in the Centre, including those examining multimedia and computer visualization, and power electronics.

The building provides an outstanding learning environment, will allow for the continued expansion of graduate programs and facilitates the Faculty's goal to deliver the best engineering education in Canada.

The George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre is a major component of the transformation of the Ryerson University campus, a redevelopment that includes six new buildings.

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in career-focused education, with more than 80 graduate and undergraduate programs in the Faculties of Arts, Business, Communication & Design, Community Services, and Engineering, Architecture and Science. Founded in 1948, Ryerson has graduate and undergraduate enrolment of 20,000 students. With more than 61,000 registrations annually, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education.



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