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York U benefits from planned gifts

York University has received three bequests and three gifts of life insurance in the past year -- amounting to $885,000 of student support across four faculties.

The planned gifts range from $75,000 to $275,000 each, and were made by former faculty members, York alumni, friends and volunteers.

All six donors directed their gifts to an area of the university they feel a personal connection to and were able to give a larger gift than they may have thought possible.

Engineer and York grad Ronald Brash (MBA '79) wants to ensure academically exceptional yet financially constrained students continue in their studies. With gratitude to York for elevating his lifetime earning potential through his education, Brash has designated one-third of his estate ($275,000) to York's new engineering department, which will provide several deserving students with full tuition.

"I'm hoping that someone who might not otherwise get a chance at an education, will get a chance with this bursary," Brash says.

Because he himself couldn't afford to go to university, Harry Rowe made many gifts to York during his lifetime to support students in need. When he died, he left a significant bequest of $185,000 to York in his will as a tribute to his niece -- fine arts professor Joy Cohnstaedt.

At his request, Cohnstaedt directed the residue of her uncle's estate to various new awards in the faculty of fine arts and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Accomplished Geography professor Glen Frankfurter left behind a generous legacy to the department of geography at York, with a bequest of $100,000 for promising scholars in Canadian historical, cultural and economic geography.

The bequest will fund the Glen Frankfurter Scholarships, annual awards given to the best graduate students in the program beginning in the 2004 academic year.

Three donors named York University the owner and beneficiary of a new or existing life insurance policy. For a relatively modest, ongoing philanthropic investment, they have created a significant gift that will help secure the future of a specific program or project at York University.

Retired president and CEO of Consumers' Gas Robert W. Martin has been an active leader at York for more than a decade, first as a member of York's board of governors and, more recently, on the York University Foundation's board of directors.

He and his wife recently made a $150,000 gift of life insurance to York's faculty of fine arts, which will support student scholarships in a yet-to-be determined area of the faculty.

"My wife and I saw a need for student support in the Faculty of Fine Arts, which is a growing center of excellence," Martin says. "A planned gift was the most effective way of doing our part."

Dr. Virginia Rock, a retired womens' studies professor and a longtime supporter of the University, named York the beneficiary of a $100,000 life insurance policy.

Once realized, the money will inspire further scholarship in the discipline of Womens' Studies.

"I looked at my resources to determine the best way to give to women's studies scholarships." Rock says. "For me, planned giving was a good idea." Andrew Roberts, an ex-colonel who fought in WWII and graduated from the Atkinson faculty of liberal and professional studies ('87), prepared his will at the age of 50, naming York University the beneficiary of an existing $75,000 life insurance policy.

The Andrew Roberts Bursary was recently inaugurated into the Atkinson faculty of liberal and professional studies and will benefit a student in need in the 2004 academic year.

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