University Advancement


To sustain and enhance the University’s academic mission, leadership, and worldwide impact, by engaging alumni and private sector constituents meaningfully in the mission of the University, building mutually beneficial relationships of increasing value and satisfaction over time.


To become the country’s primary destination for philanthropic, volunteer, and advancement leaders.


The Division of University Advancement promotes and upholds the University of Toronto’s mission by engaging its worldwide community of alumni and friends in support of its top academic priorities. Our alumni are among our greatest ambassadors. There are now more than a 600,000 U of T graduates, achieving stellar success, pushing intellectual boundaries, and making a difference at the University, in their neighbourhoods and across the globe.

Working closely with the University’s academic leadership, its staff and students, alumni and volunteer leaders, and donors, University Advancement leads and coordinates alumni relations and fundraising efforts across the University. Our uniquely integrated structure encourages each division, department or college to bring its particular strengths and expertise to the common cause of advancing the University’s reputation as a global leader in academic research, innovation and learning across a wide range of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, sciences and the professions. Our staff aspires to the highest standards of achievement and accountability for advancement professionals.

The Defy Gravity campaign for the University of Toronto, led by University Advancement, will continue the University’s long history of tackling the impossible and transforming society through the ingenuity of its faculty, students, and alumni. The campaign aims to help address some of the biggest challenges facing our city, country and planet, as we grapple with this age of climate change, inequality, and mass technological disruption.

The campaign has two ambitious goals to meet today’s challenges. For the first time in U of T history, the campaign includes a goal for alumni engagement: to inspire 225,000 alumni to get involved as volunteers, mentors, donors, participants, and leaders and encourage them to contribute their time and talent to the University one million times collectively. The campaign is also seeking to raise $4 billion for the University’s highest priorities, a goal commensurate with our excellence, the breadth of U of T’s aspirations, and our potential for life-changing impact.

Previously, the Boundless campaign for the University of Toronto, which concluded in 2018, was a transformational fundraising effort that embodied the University of Toronto’s bold vision for the future. More than 104,000 donors from nearly 100 countries came together to give an historic $2.641 billion, setting a new record for Canadian philanthropy.

With Defy Gravity, we will extend U of T’s history of advancing the frontiers of knowledge in a diverse and inclusive community that emboldens students and researchers to think big—a community that accomplishes things no one else believed possible.