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Think Ahead campaign well on way to reaching goal

Upper Canada College’s Think Ahead fundraising campaign had some exciting news to share on Association Day on Sept. 27.

Marco Cianflone ’09 acted as the emcee for a series of announcements made just prior to the varsity football game from the west end zone of the oval, with the UCC financial assistance recipient first introducing his classmate Taylor Harris ’09. He announced his $250,000 leadership gift to establish the Taylor Harris Student Experience Fund.

Taylor Harris

Taylor Harris reveals the details of his campaign gift.

“My UCC experience was special because the College gave me so many outlets to develop different passions and interests through co-curricular activities,” said Harris. “While what I learned in the classroom was important, it was the times participating in varsity sports, playing in school bands and organizing a student-led musical that I count as my most valued UCC experiences.

“A lot of this has to do with the guys I was with. For Old Boys like me, UCC is a brotherhood. It’s about friendships that start in the classroom and become indestructible on the College’s sports fields, during school trips or huddled backstage.

“But participation in these activities comes with a cost — a cost which, as Marco has said, is difficult for some boys’ families to meet.

“I believe all boys at the College should be able to participate equally in the UCC experience. That’s why I am delighted to be establishing the Taylor Harris Student Experience Fund that will specifically assist boys receiving financial assistance cover the extra costs of co-curricular activities. Not only will this help the boys themselves, but, by helping them to pursue their own interests and passions, they’ll enrich our school community as a whole.”

Principal Jim Power thanked Harris, saying: “You’re an inspiration and I can assure you your gift will have a huge impact on so many lives.”

Power said that campaign donations have been pouring in from around the world from thousands of Old Boys, parents, grandparents, faculty and staff members, and other College friends. He then introduced a video about the UCC Fund and revealed that the annual giving fund raised $1.36 million in the last fiscal year, up 20 per cent from the previous year and 50 per cent from two years earlier.

Finally, board chairman Andy Burgess ’83 thanked campaign co-chairs Loudon Owen ’76, Andy Pringle ’69 and Laurie Thomson as well as other volunteers for their efforts before informing the audience that the Think Ahead campaign has now raised $86.2 million of its $100-million goal.

“As you’ve seen today, any gift of any size to any area of the school will be counted towards our Think Ahead campaign total — and all gifts come together to have a huge impact,” said Burgess. “So act now and help support this important effort for our school.”