Giving Back

There are several ways that you can give back to the undergraduate and graduate programs from which you graduated.  One of the easiest is to make a donation to funds and scholarships in the Department. The Friends of Geography and the Friends of Planning funds are dedicated to enhancing the student experience by supporting student travel for research and conference presentations and offering student awards that recognize academic excellence and financial need. We also have dedicated scholarship funds that honor past members of the department.  These are the Matthew W.F. Hanson Scholarship in Planning, and the James T. Lemon Scholarship and the UTAGA  J.B.R. Whitney AWARD  in Geography.

This vital support of our students would not be possible without the donations of our many alumni and friends. With your continued help, we will create more scholarships, and increase our levels of funding for student activities. You can now give to the Department’s Awards and Scholarships through our Online Giving Page or you can simply the name of the fund or scholarship on your cheque or accompanying letter in your mail-in donation.  Make cheques payable to the University of Toronto and mail them to the Annual Fund Office, 21 King’s College Circle, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3G3.

A second way to give back is to participate in one of our two alumni associations, either UTAGA (University of Toronto Association for Geography Alumni) or PAC (Planning Alumni Committee).  Both associations support programs for our graduate and undergraduate students.

A third way is to bring your professional experience to the classroom or to a networking event.  Students greatly appreciate hearing about the successes and experiences of our alumni in the workplace.  Each year, alumni contribute to both undergraduate and graduate teaching and to workshops on career planning.  If you would like to become involved in this way, please contact our Events & Communications Coordinator at .

Funds and Scholarships in the Department

Friends of Geography

This fund is an endowment that we add to each year through the efforts of alumni and friends of the department.  We use the fund to support geography undergraduate and graduate student travel for research, conferences and field trips. Donate now.

Friends of Planning

The Friends of Planning endowment funds scholarships, annual field trips, and workshops for students in the Master’s program in Planning.  Field trip visits sponsored by the fund in the last few years to Portland, New York, Detroit, Mexico City and Chicago have allowed students to engage directly with practicing planners, tour development sites, and observe planning in an environment very different to what they are familiar with in Toronto.  The fund also continues to grow five PAC-sponsored scholarships that are awarded annually.  With your donation, you will receive a complimentary admission to the annual Friends of Planning Spring Social. Donate now.

Matthew W.F Hanson Scholarship in Planning

Matthew Hanson was a graduate of the Masters of Science in Planning class of 2004, a wonderful friend and colleague who touched the lives of so many people before his passing. To honour him, friends and family created this scholarship to recognize students in the Masters of Science in Planning program for their efforts and contribution to student life.  Donate now.

James T. Lemon Scholarship

This scholarship honors the memory of Professor Jim Lemon, a faculty member who joined the department in 1967.  Jim was a highly respected and often controversial scholar of historical and urban geography, a Guggenheim Fellow, a mentor for and friend of several generations of students and colleagues, in Canada and abroad. Through his research and teaching he influenced, indeed changed, many careers. He was awarded the CAG Award for Scholarly Distinction in Geography 1997. The James T. Lemon Scholarship is dedicated to supporting graduate student research in Geography that contributes to the development of a more just society.  Donate now.

UTAGA J.B.R. Whitney Award

Joe Whitney served as a member of the UTAGA committee since its inception in 1993. This award, established in 2014 by the University of Toronto Association of Geography Alumni (UTAGA), recognizes Joe Whitney’s contribution as a
founding member of UTAGA, former department chair and his longtime service to the Association. The award is given on the basis of academic excellence to a graduate student studying the environment or international development.  Donate now.