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A transformational gift

Jack Cockwell

Gift from Jack Cockwell, pictured, and Brookfield Partners Foundation, will create the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Ryerson.

Ryerson University today announced a $13-million gift by Jack Cockwell and the Brookfield Partners Foundation, bringing their total giving to the university to more than $20 million. This latest gift from Cockwell and the Brookfield Partners Foundation places them among Ryerson’s most generous private sector benefactors.

Janice Fukakusa, chair of Ryerson’s Board of Governors said, “This extraordinary gift is a bold statement of confidence in Ryerson students as young innovators. The new support will create the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Ryerson, and fund innovation projects across the university.”

“In a competitive global economy, we know that Ontario needs to live and breathe innovation and entrepreneurial thinking, and encourage our young people to lead a startup culture that helps ensure our long-term prosperity,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “This gift is a testament to Ryerson’s outstanding track record of developing the next generation of innovators and business leaders, and I look forward to the exciting outcomes that will be generated thanks to the generosity and foresight of Jack Cockwell and the Brookfield Partners Foundation.”‎‎

Fukakusa added that “We are also pleased to announce that Sheldon Levy will be the Institute’s first honorary chair, leading this agenda on his retirement as president of the university. This gift represents an unqualified endorsement of Sheldon Levy’s contribution to Ryerson over the past 10 years and his ongoing commitment to promote innovation and entrepreneurship as part of the student experience. It is all about creating new opportunities for students.”

President Levy said: “I am honoured to be given the opportunity to chair this wonderful new Institute which represents two of the great strengths of our university, innovation and entrepreneurship. The generosity of Jack Cockwell and the Brookfield Partners Foundation will have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of many of our most talented students by bringing their ideas to life.”

Part of the donation will also be used to support the Student Learning Centre, Ryerson’s spectacular new study and collaboration space at Yonge and Gould streets. The student building will be opening this spring.

Jack Cockwell and the Brookfield Partners Foundation have a strong history of support for Ryerson. Cockwell has played a leadership role at Ryerson for years. First appointed to Ryerson’s Board of Governors in 1995, he has served as vice-chair of the board, chair of the finance committee, and he is currently chair of the audit committee. He also chaired the building fundraising committee for The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education and has led Ryerson's real estate advisory committee. Previous gifts from Cockwell and Brookfield Partners Foundation include support for The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, the campus Master Plan and the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing.

This most recent donation gives terrific momentum to Ryerson's Make Your Mark campaign, a $200-million fundraising initiative focused on strengthening the university’s research agenda and providing students with the very best opportunities for a distinctive and career-oriented education.