ENCOURAGING ALUMNI PARTICIPATION IN THE LIFE OF U OF T
Since 1900, the UTAA has been active in keeping alumni connected with their university, and functioning as an integral part of the U of T community.
HISTORY OF THE UTAA
Although the UTAA existed in some form or another since the 1840s, the current corporate entity took shape in April, 1900, incorporated under letters patent governed by the Ontario Corporations Act. The Alumni Federation of the University of Toronto was formally incorporated in 1921 and has been known as the University of Toronto Alumni Association since 1948.
From its inception, the UTAA worked to advance the interests of the University. Some early initiatives included: lobbying for increased government support for science and engineering; securing funding for the construction of the Chemistry and Mining buildings; being the leading donor for the construction of Convocation Hall and fundraising to build the Soldiers’ Tower.
Historically, the Association has sought to encourage participation of alumni in the life of the University through events, governance and membership on alumni boards at both the constituency and the central level. In addition, the Association has been involved in government lobbying efforts and awarding scholarships and loans.
In the 1980’s the UTAA began to market various products and services to alumni in an effort to raise funds for its activities. In March 1991, responsibility for this activity was formerly transferred to the Division of University Advancement (DUA), which administers the program and in turn transfers appropriate revenue to the UTAA.
As the functions of fundraising, alumni relations and communications have become increasingly professionalized they have also been transferred to the DUA. The Association has remained committed to the principles of helping to advance the interests of the University as evidenced by its many investments in the University for both infrastructure and awards/scholarships.
UTAA’S MISSION AND OPERATIONS
The UTAA operates through a Board of Directors. Its by-laws (pdf) govern the association’s operations and outline the structure of its board, conduct of meetings, role of officers, policies, procedures and other related matters.
The UTAA is part of a global cooperative network (pdf) of departments, groups, councils and committees that support both the University and the interests of alumni.
To date the UTAA’s areas of involvement can be divided into four broad categories:
- Awards and Scholarships, including the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards, the Awards of Excellence and the National Scholarships.
- Constituency Relations as the UTAA President chairs the meetings of the Council of Presidents. These meetings convey information to the individual alumni associations and to provide a forum for the sharing of information and ideas and for the discussion of university-wide issues.
- University Governance through our participation in The College of Electors. The UTAA Vice-President, University Governance is the Chair of the College which is responsible for electing the Chancellor and Alumni Governor members of Governing Council. The President of the UTAA is an ex-officio member of the Honorary degrees Committee.
- Additional Projects: The UTAA supports student recruitment through its annual contribution to the National Scholarship.The UTAA has also provided funds for select University projects such as the renewal of Convocation Hall and the renovation of Alumni House. Most recently in June of 2017, the UTAA provided a $2 million lead gift, in partnership with the University, for U of T’s Landmark Project.