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New fund to aid lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students

November 15, 2006

Source: University of Toronto

Bursaries and emergency financial aid fund to be establishedNov 15/06by Karen Kelly (about) (email)

A fund to provide bursaries to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students will be launched on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. in Room 253, University College, 15 King's College Circle.

The Robert Fund is being established by Toronto's Robert Schott in memory of Robert Beninati, his partner of more than 40 years, who died earlier this year. It will award $15,000 yearly for student bursaries, some used for emergency funding for unforeseen cases of financial need.LGBT triangleLGBT triangle"My partner Robert was a strong advocate of post-secondary education his entire adult life," Schott says. "He believed passionately in the power of higher education to transform lives and give young people the opportunity to better themselves. In setting up The Robert Fund, I wanted to support young LGBT students enrolled in university and inspire others to give back to our own community."

The fund will be administered by the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, which offers undergraduate programs, hosts academic and community events and promotes research into sexuality. "This bursary fund builds on a long history of promoting a visible recognition of sexual diversity at the University of Toronto," says Professor David Rayside, director of the centre. "Robert Schott's wonderful generosity allows us to support LGBT youth -- encouraging more to consider attending university, and to finish their academic programs, whatever hardship they face."

Schott moved to Toronto from San Francisco 20 years ago and has worked in the non-profit housing sector. His partner, Robert Beninati, worked for many years in Ontario's education ministry and was an advocate for education in other settings.



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