● Related Documents: Naming Procedures; Coordination of Donation Appeals and
Gift Acceptance Policy; Sponsorship Policy; Standing Strong Task Force Report and
● Owner: Vice-President, University Advancement
● Approver: President
● Approval Date: October 2023
This Policy sets out the considerations and processes for naming Assets at the University
after individuals and organizations. Namings may be granted by the University for confirmed
Gifts or Contributions, or to commemorate or honour a person, event, place or idea.
A person’s life or an organization’s work can have a complex and sometimes contradictory
scope. Equally complex are the public associations or interpretations of that life or work
which can evolve and change over time. A given Naming will consider the alignment
between the values associated with the Naming and the core values of the University.
The practice of assigning a name to a University Asset represents an opportunity to
recognize community service, the generosity of time and/or financial support that advances
the University’s mission and vision.
When considering a proposed Naming, it remains crucial that the name proposed aligns
with the University’s values, and does not, or will not, compromise the integrity and
autonomy of the University or the academic freedom of our faculty.
II. Scope and Application
This Policy applies to all Namings. The general, functional naming of Assets by the
University in a manner that is not commemorative or as a result of a Gift or Contribution (for
example, "Podium Building") is outside the scope of this Policy.
The Policy does not apply to the placing of plaques or other memorials where such
recognition does not involve the Naming of an Asset.
The authority to approve a Naming under this Policy or Procedures does not in and of itself
extend to the authority to approve the creation or acquisition of an Asset, or acceptance of a
Gift or Contribution, which shall be taken in the manner prescribed by the applicable policy
1. Assets means all University owned, leased or controlled physical and intangible
property including, but not limited to, equipment, buildings and physical spaces (indoors and outdoors), and the University’s academic and research units, positions, programs, and awards.
2. Benefactor means an individual or organization that provides a Gift to the University.
3. Benefactor Naming means a naming of an Asset as a result of a confirmed Gift.
4. Commemorative Naming means a naming of an Asset by the University to
commemorate or honour an Honouree, event, place, or idea (Examples include Kerr
Hall and Nelson Mandela Walk).
5. Contribution means financial or in-kind support that is not a Gift. Support may be in
the form of a sponsorship, funding agreement, grant, or other arrangement.
6. Contributor means an individual or organization that provides a Contribution to the
7. Contributor Naming means a naming of an Asset as a result of a confirmed
8. Delegated Approver means the individual authorized to approve a Naming proposal
as set out in Appendix “A” of the Procedures or as otherwise designated by the
President with regard to a specific exceptional circumstance.
9. Gift means financial or in-kind support of a charitable nature that is eligible for an
official donation receipt as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency.
10. Honouree means an individual or organization recognized by a Naming at the
University whose service and/or achievements reflect the values and/or aspirations of
11. Naming means a Benefactor Naming and/or Contributor Naming and/or
12. Naming Review Committee or NRC means the standing committee of University
community members established by the University to consider existing and proposed Namings.
13. Procedures means all procedures established to support the operationalization of
14. University means Toronto Metropolitan University.
1. The University values and protects its integrity and autonomy, and the academic
freedom of its faculty members. The University shall not approve or may revoke a Naming that compromises these fundamental ideals, or the University’s values or reputation.
2. The University shall not approve or may revoke a Naming if it compromises the
principles of commemoration as outlined in the Standing Strong Task Force Report
and Recommendations, jeopardizes the financial, legal or moral integrity of the
University, or adversely impacts the University’s standing and reputation in the
community. Revocation of an existing Naming makes a strong public statement, and
as such, each revocation procedure will be informed by its particular context.
3. Though the University may consider Naming for an individual who has at one time
held public office, or for a commercial organization, such Naming is not an
endorsement of a particular political party or commercial products or services.
4. The duration of a Naming can be time limited or be “in perpetuity” (up to the duration
of useful life of the named Asset). The University has discretion to extend the
duration of a Naming.
5. A Naming must not impede the University from altering its academic and research
priorities in future, or infringe on the ability of the University to set its own priorities
and strategy. In the event it becomes impossible, inadvisable or impractical to
maintain an Asset that bears a Naming, or if the University is of the opinion that a
revised purpose of an Asset is appropriate, the University shall exercise its discretion
to honour the spirit and intent of the original Naming.
6. If the University is unable to proceed with the Asset proposed for Naming, the
potential Benefactor is entitled to redirect or curtail future pledge payments on the
7. If an Asset named in perpetuity must be replaced or substantially altered in its form,
nature or use, the University reserves the right to rename the Asset. However,
recognition of the original Naming shall continue in some form. When an Asset is
proposed for renaming pursuant to the above, the University will make reasonable
efforts to inform the original Honouree, Benefactor or Contributor in advance. If the
Honouree, Benefactor or Contributor is deceased or no longer in existence,
reasonable efforts will be made to inform the appropriate representative(s) in
advance of the renaming.
8. All plaques or signage identifying a Naming must conform to approved University
designs, and be consistent with the University’s branding and signage policies.
9. All Namings must be submitted to the Naming Review Committee, and must be
approved by the appropriate Delegated Approver in accordance with the process set
out in the Procedures.
10. All Assets are owned and managed by the University, and as such, final approval for
Namings must be obtained from the appropriate University representative as
provided in the Procedures. Benefactor Naming and Contributor Naming
Benefactor Naming and Contributor Naming
11. The acceptance of a Gift or Contribution does not automatically include the
opportunity for Naming.
12. To ensure consistency of Naming for like Assets across the University and in relation
to peer institutions in the region, the Naming opportunity shall take into consideration
the minimum threshold guidelines set out in the Procedures and the
recommendations from University Advancement as appropriate.
13. A Benefactor or Contributor may request to terminate or change their Naming,
subject to approval through current University policies and procedures, and provided
any associated expenses (e.g. signage updates) are borne by the Benefactor or
14. In the event of revocation of a Naming, the University is not required to return any
portion of the Gift or Contribution already received unless otherwise set out in the Gift
or Contribution agreement.
15. A Commemorative Naming proposal that has been rejected by the University on the
grounds that it does not align with the University’s values, or because it is deemed to
compromise the integrity or autonomy of the University or the academic freedom of
our faculty, is not eligible for consideration as a Benefactor Naming opportunity or
Contributor Naming opportunity.
16. The University may wish to approve a Commemorative Naming to honour an
individual whose extraordinary service and contributions reflect the values of the
17. In the case of a proposed Commemorative Naming for someone who is or has been
employed by the University, the honouree must have left the University at least two
years prior to submission of the recommendation.
18. Commemorative Naming proposals may only be submitted by a faculty or staff
member or student of the University. Proposals must be submitted in accordance
with the process set out in the Procedures.
19. A Benefactor Naming proposal or Contributor Naming proposal that has been
rejected by the University on the grounds that it does not align with the University’s
values, or because it is deemed to compromise the integrity or autonomy of the
University or the academic freedom of our faculty, is not eligible for consideration as
a Commemorative Naming opportunity.
V. Roles and Responsibility
1. The Naming Review Committee is responsible for:
● determining any required consultation process for Commemorative Naming
● reviewing, considering, providing feedback or making recommendations to
decision makers for existing and proposed Namings as detailed in the
2. University Advancement is responsible for leading any required consultation process
for philanthropic Benefactor Naming proposals.
3. For Contributor Naming proposals that are initiated by other units (e.g. Office of the
Vice-President, Research and Innovation), that unit is responsible for leading any
required consultation process for the proposal.
This Policy falls under the jurisdiction of University Advancement.
The Vice-President, University Advancement is responsible for the interpretation and
application of this Policy, and the creation and promulgation of such procedures and
guidelines as necessary or desirable to give effect to this Policy.