Shaping Futures: The Role of the U of T Scarborough Annual Fund

An open box with tomatoes, some meat, bell pepper, milk box and eggs, held by two hands from the side

Every esteemed university is built on a foundation: a community that deeply connects with its core values. These values drive the institution’s key priorities, requiring a reserve of resources to address them effectively. At U of T Scarborough, the Annual Fund serves this critical role.

The Annual Fund helps fuel U of T Scarborough’s commitment to growth, inclusivity, and academic excellence. Its unrestricted nature ensures that  U of T Scarborough can respond to immediate needs while laying down the bricks for our future.

Sometimes, the most pressing priorities of the institution demand resources and the flexibility to pivot according to the need of the moment. The Annual Fund serves as that crucial buffer, ensuring we are consistently prepared and can respond to the needs of our students and campus community with agility.
- Celeste Richards, Director of Development, U of T Scarborough


Highlights from the SCSU Food Centre • Currently, the Food Centre has 600 registered users and receives 400 student visits weekly. • To help more students and to meet growing demands, they they have increased grocery pick ups to two days a week. • Every first Wednesday of the month, they host the SCSU Coffee House where they serve free breakfast. In September 2022, they provided hot meals, baked treats, coffee, and tea to over 300 students at the Student Centre.

A central role of the Annual Fund is to level the playing field for students from various backgrounds. With the rising cost of living, many learners face financial hurdles. The Annual Fund seeks to alleviate these burdens, channeling support into critical areas, such as conferences, the student food centre and pathway programs,  as well as enhancing co-curricular learning opportunities and volunteer programs.

A testament to its metamorphic impact, the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) Food Centre, which started as a modest initiative in 2017, now plays a substantial role in student wellness. Addressing the dire issue of food insecurity – a factor that significantly impacts academic performance and quality of life – the centre currently aims to serve 400 students weekly with affordable, nutritious, and culturally sensitive meal options. In 2022-23, the Annual Fund supported the Food Centre with a $10,000 contribution, which allowed them to purchase two new freezers to store perishable goods and engage two more coordinators for facilitation. 

Another cornerstone initiative that is supported by the Annual Fund is student awards. These are more than financial aid; the awards allow students to channel their energies into their studies without the constant worry of finances. By supporting students from diverse backgrounds to attend U of T Scarborough, the fund enables the addition of invaluable perspectives that shape and enrich our academic fabric.

Beyond these tangible supports, the Annual Fund fuels our broader community’s intellectual curiosity. It supports series like Great Explorations, which invites the community to engage with U of T’s brightest minds on global challenges. For instance, this year’s Fall series is focused on various aspects of climate change.

At its heart, the U of T Scarborough Annual Fund isn’t just about monetary support; it’s about possibilities. Every dollar to the Annual Fund strengthens U of T Scarborough’s ability to level the playing field for all students and set them up for success as future leaders.