TORONTO, October 30, 2014 --- Ryerson University today celebrates the visionary generosity of the Slaight family. The Slaight Family Foundation has made a $3 million gift to support the next generation of radio innovators and entrepreneurs, creating the Allan Slaight Radio Institute at the RTA School of Media in the Faculty of Communication and Design.

The Allan Slaight Radio Institute – named for broadcasting pioneer and former President and CEO of Standard Broadcasting Corporation, Allan Slaight – will be a state-of-the-art broadcast and teaching facility that will strengthen Ryerson’s position as the educational leader in radio broadcast and production. The Allan Slaight Radio Institute will also foster excellence through newly created student awards, support for independent student productions, and hands-on practical experience for students at Ryerson’s digital radio station, ‘Spirit Live.’

Phyllis Yaffe, Ryerson’s former Board Chair, said, “This generous donation was led by foundation trustee Gary Slaight to celebrate his father’s legacy. We are deeply grateful to Allan and Gary for that spirit of giving.”

Sheldon Levy, President and Vice-Chancellor, Ryerson University, noted that “Allan Slaight is an inspiring figure for people passionate about radio. The family’s gift will be transformational for Ryerson students working to follow in his footsteps in developing the industry. We are honoured and thrilled to celebrate Allan’s groundbreaking contribution to radio in Canada in this way.”

“My dad was a true trailblazer in Canada’s broadcasting industry,” said Gary Slaight, President, The Slaight Family Foundation. “The Allan Slaight Radio Institute is a fitting tribute to his contributions and will ensure solid support to students wishing to pursue careers in radio and broadcasting. Our family is very pleased to provide this support to Ryerson University, and Allan looks forward to visiting the new facilities.”

“The Slaight name,” says Briana Todd, Ryerson RTA School of Media student, “is synonymous with radio in this country and now it is part of RTA, which is fantastic.”

The Ryerson community is grateful for the longstanding generous support of the Slaight family, who initiated and has continued to support the annual Slaight Business Plan Competition, now in its twelfth year of encouraging excellence in student entrepreneurship with two $25,000 awards.

Ryerson thanks the Slaight family for creating this milestone moment in our Make Your Mark campaign, a $200-million fundraising initiative focused on strengthening the University’s research agenda and providing students with the very best opportunities for a distinctive and career-oriented education.

RTA School of Media is built on a 60-year history of being Canada’s preeminent school of broadcasting and media production. The School regularly consults with senior media executives from across Canada’s broadcast sector to ensure that what RTA teaches reflects best industry practices. Gaining practical experience through its four-year undergraduate programs and its Master of Arts in Media Production – the first degree of its kind in North America – RTA graduates are some of the most respected broadcasting and communications professionals in Canada.

About Ryerson University
Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 38,000 students, including 2,300 master's and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more than 155,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit


Johanna VanderMaas
Public Affairs, Ryerson University
Office: 416-979-5000 x 4630

News release October 30, 2014