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$8M Gift from Cockwell Family and Brookfield Partners Foundation

March 01, 2016
Jack Cockwell and Ryerson representatives standing at the Student Learning Centre

(left to right) Jack Cockwell, Honorary Governor, Ryerson University; Janice Fukakusa, Chair of the Board of Governors, Ryerson University; Sheldon Levy, President and Vice Chancellor, Ryerson University; and Tim Price, Founding member and Chair, Brookfield Partners Foundation. Photo by Mark Blinch.

On November 12, Ryerson announced an $8-million gift from the Jack Cockwell family and Brookfield Partners Foundation. With the Foundation, the Cockwell family’s generosity to Ryerson now exceeds $28-million, making him one of Ryerson’s most generous private sector benefactors.

This gift brings added strength and momentum to Ryerson University’s new Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which since January has been supporting innovation and entrepreneurship across the campus and beyond. The Brookfield Institute funds and incubates projects, and is a source of policy expertise and thought leadership on today’s most relevant issues related to innovation and entrepreneurship. Already, the Institute has supported a summer basecamp program for high school students, helped establish a fund to scale up Canada’s most promising startups, hosted an app-development workshop, and much more.  

Janice Fukakusa, Chair of the Board of Governors of Ryerson University, noted that "Jack Cockwell’s generosity to Ryerson University has created extraordinary opportunity for students. His support encourages and inspires the young innovators and entrepreneurs who will be the drivers of our emerging economy."

Ryerson President Sheldon Levy added that "Jack has always been there with us at the forefront of Ryerson's development. The university has pioneered an evolution in entrepreneurial education and, with his help, the Institute is reaching out to young people of all ages as the leaders of tomorrow."

In recognition of the Cockwell family and Brookfield Partners Foundation’s far-reaching generosity, Ryerson will name its new development on Church Street the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex in honour of Jack’s mother, who dedicated her life to helping others. The building will house Ryerson’s School of Nutrition, School of Occupational and Public Health, the Midwifery Education program, the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing and more.