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Alumni: Giving U of T more reasons to be proud


About the UTAA
UTAA logoOver 110 years committed to encouraging participation of alumni in the life of the University of Toronto.

Dr. Augusta Stowegullen, first-female graduate of U of T. From U of T archives

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 and is 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 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 to both infrastructure and awards/scholarships.

The UTAA operates through a Board of Directors comprised of 14 directors, two of whom are ex-officio members. 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 of departments, groups, councils and committees that support both the University and the interests of alumni. See diagram (pdf).

To date the UTAA’s areas of involvement can be divided into four broad categories:

  • Awards and Scholarships valued at nearly $100,000. UTAA also provides funds for select university projects such as the renewal of Convocation Hall and the renovation of Alumni House.
  • 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.
  • The UTAA is involved in student recruitment by supporting the National’s Scholar’s Dinner and supporting the National Scholarships.

With the introduction of our strategic plan in 2010 the UTAA has renewed its mission and is expanding its work through focused committees and working groups.