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Faculty of Communication & Design

Suzanne Rogers Donates $1million to the School of Fashion




TORONTO, Oct. 11, 2016 -- Ryerson University is pleased to announce the launch of The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute (SRFI), a dynamic fellowship program designed and dedicated to educate, support, promote and advocate for new Canadian talent in fashion craftsmanship and design.

With international partnerships with leading schools and by supporting the development of emerging young design talent nationally and internationally, the SRFI fellowship is unique in the Canadian fashion landscape, attracting potential fellows early in their academic and fashion careers. Undergraduates from third and fourth year along with recent graduates will undergo a competitive selection process to become fellows of the new institute. Over five years, these elite fellows will receive support through a variety of opportunities aimed at realizing the promise of their full potential as exceptional Canadian fashion design students.

"Supporting and fostering emerging talent in the Canadian fashion realm has always been a tremendous passion of mine," says Suzanne Rogers, benefactor of The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute. "The calibre of student talent at Ryerson University is incredible, and this institute works to develop, support and nurture their skills in an exclusive and innovative way and showcase them nationally and internationally."

Made possible through a $1 million gift from The Edward and Suzanne Rogers Foundation to the Faculty of Communication and Design, the SRFI will bridge the transition from fashion education to practice. Through master classes and exclusive mentorship opportunities, the SRFI will significantly strengthen and enhance the Canadian fashion industry.

"The SRFI model is unique for students from the beginning of the fellowship, until the end," explains Robert Ott, Associate Professor, in the School of Fashion, Ryerson University. "This program establishes invaluable learning opportunities for Canada's emerging and up-and-coming designers to apprentice and continue their studies abroad, building on the school's reputation and growing partnerships with international fashion institutions."

The SRFI program will include:

  • Master classes led by national and international fashion experts
  • Exclusive mentorship by the school's Distinguished Designer-in-Residence 

Fellows of the SRFI will be eligible to apply for:

  • Undergraduate student awards
  • Paid work placements or internships
  • Graduate student awards for international study
  • Funding to support active participation in international fashion weeks and other opportunities

"This very special gift from the Rogers family builds on their legacy of generosity and commitment to our students," says Charles Falzon, Dean of FCAD (Faculty of Communication and Design), Ryerson University. "Within Canada's ever-changing fashion landscape, The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute is helping to elevate student potential for creative innovation, empowering the next generation of designers to pursue and achieve their boldest ambitions."

This most recent gift from The Edward and Suzanne Rogers Foundation extends the Rogers family's place among Ryerson's most generous supporters, contributing more than $34 million to the university over the years.

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