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Ryerson University receives $1 million for Rams hockey program

Kavanagh family makes largest gift in history of Ryerson Athletics
June 07, 2017
Three people holding a Rams jersey in front of the Ryerson Athletics desk at the MAC

Photo, from left to right: Head Coach Rams Women’s Hockey, Lisa Haley; Head Coach Rams Men’s Hockey, Johnny Duco; Brigitte and Al Kavanagh (with jersey), and Ryerson Athletics Director, Ivan Joseph, at the Kavanagh Family Welcome Centre at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. 

TORONTO, June 7, 2017 – Ryerson University is pleased to announce that Al and Brigitte Kavanagh have made the largest single donation to Ryerson Athletics in the history of the university. Their gift of $1 million will transform the men’s and women’s hockey program at Ryerson by creating new opportunities for player and team development and a series of financial awards for student-athletes.

Ivan Joseph, director of Ryerson’s athletics program, says, “The Kavanagh family is helping Ryerson write a new chapter for hockey in this storied building. We are grateful for their generosity and vision. Al’s love for the game, and his insight and expertise, will be of exceptional value to students and coaches alike. This gift will take hockey at Ryerson to a whole new level of achievement.”

Al Kavanagh, retired founder, president and director of GolfNorth Properties, says, “I’ve been watching Ryerson, and this is a moment of great momentum for the university. We are excited to see the promise here in both the students and the teams. There’s terrific opportunity to build new connections for the hockey program, and attract new talent and fans.”

The gift comes at a moment when Ryerson Ram’s teams are enjoying some of their strongest successes in the school’s history. Ryerson has a proud athletic tradition dating back to the 1940s, and in the last ten years has built a record of achievement across university sport, including winning both the men’s and women’s OUA basketball championships in 2015-2016. The announcement of the Kavanagh family gifts follows the appointment of Johnny Duco as the new head coach of the men’s hockey team. With Duco in the interim position, the Rams finished number one in the regular season of the OUA conference last year.
About Ryerson University
Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 44,500 students, including 2,400 Master’s and PhD students, 3,200 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit


Zandra Alexander
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs
Office: 416-979-5000 x 4282