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Durham Greater Toronto Area

Canada’s First Female Bank Chair Invests $50,000 to Support Trent University Durham GTA Students

Inspiring leader Katie Taylor encourages Trent students to embark on careers that align with personal values

Katie Taylor, the first woman in Canada to chair the board of a national bank and one of Canada’s most influential and powerful people, has made a $50,000 investment in students at Trent University Durham GTA.

The Kathleen Taylor Bursary Fund will provide bursaries for undergraduate students at Trent University Durham GTA who are in financial need and who live in the Municipality of Durham. Through the bursary fund, Ms. Taylor, an honorary alumnus of the Durham GTA campus who grew up in the region, hopes to support students as they pursue an education and future career that aligns with their core values.

The gift was announced during a recent talk Ms. Taylor gave to students at Trent University Durham GTA during which she urged students to “think about the things you are passionate about, the values that you really care about, and try to find ways as you move through your education and then your career where you can bring those into alignment.”

Speaking of the gift, Julie Davis, vice-president of External Relations and Advancement at Trent, said: “The student experience at Trent’s Durham campus is unique. This generous gift will help ensure students receive support to pursue their dreams of an education. Trent has been offering degrees in the region for more than four decades, and with first-year student enrolment increasing 25% annually, more students need financial assistance each year. The Kathleen Taylor Bursary Fund will help support students as the campus grows.”

Described as one of Toronto’s 50 Most Influential People in 2015 by Toronto Life Magazine, Ms. Taylor is considered one of the most powerful chairs in Canadian banking and is a spokesperson for workplace diversity. In 2016, Ms. Taylor was awarded an honorary degree at the first stand-alone convocation for Trent Durham GTA.

Ms. Taylor is a successful business leader, described as having an uncanny ability to build bridges across boundaries such as class, gender, or race. Her commitment to inclusive leadership, community responsibility, and challenging the conventions of business are all virtues embraced by Trent—and her accomplishments represent a powerful step forward for women in boardrooms.

The new student support fund established by Ms. Taylor and husband Neil Harris is one of many initiatives underway supporting the Trent Durham GTA campus. Plans are also underway for a campus expansion including new academic and residential spaces to accommodate the growing student body and enhance the Trent Durham experience.

Posted on December 17, 2018