Giving Back — Scholarships & Funds

The department is grateful to our many alumni and friends that have made several funds and scholarship available to our students. The Friends of Geography and the Friends of Planning funds are dedicated to enhancing the student experience by supporting student travel for research and conferences, and offering student awards that recognize academic excellence and financial need. We also have dedicated scholarship funds that honour past members of the department. These are the Matthew W.F. Hanson Scholarship in Planning, the James T. Lemon Scholarship, and the UTAGA J.B.R. Whitney Award in Geography. Read more about the funds and scholarships below. 

This vital support of our students would not be possible without the donations of our many alumni and friends. With your continued help, we will create more scholarships, and increase our levels of funding for student activities. 

Donations can be made through our Online Giving Page.

Donations may also be made by cheque payable to:

University of Toronto Annual Fund Office
21 King’s College Circle
University of TorontoToronto, Ontario, M5S 3G3

Funds & Scholarships 

Friends of Geography

This fund is an endowment that we add to each year through the efforts of alumni and friends of the department.  We use the fund to support geography undergraduate and graduate student travel for research, conferences and field trips.

Friends of Planning

The Friends of Planning endowment funds scholarships, annual field trips, and workshops for students in the Master’s program in Planning.  Field trip visits sponsored by the fund in the last few years to Portland, New York, Detroit, Mexico City and Chicago have allowed students to engage directly with practicing planners, tour development sites, and observe planning in an environment very different to what they are familiar with in Toronto.  The fund also continues to grow five PAC-sponsored scholarships that are awarded annually.  With your donation, you will receive a complimentary admission to the annual Friends of Planning Spring Social. 

Matthew W.F Hanson Scholarship in Planning

Matthew Hanson was a graduate of the Masters of Science in Planning class of 2004, a wonderful friend and colleague who touched the lives of so many people before his passing. To honour him, friends and family created this scholarship to recognize students in the Masters of Science in Planning program for their efforts and contribution to student life.

James T. Lemon Scholarship

This scholarship honors the memory of Professor Jim Lemon, a faculty member who joined the department in 1967.  Jim was a highly respected and often controversial scholar of historical and urban geography, a Guggenheim Fellow, a mentor for and friend of several generations of students and colleagues, in Canada and abroad. Through his research and teaching he influenced, indeed changed, many careers. He was awarded the CAG Award for Scholarly Distinction in Geography 1997. The James T. Lemon Scholarship is dedicated to supporting graduate student research in Geography that contributes to the development of a more just society. 

UTAGA J.B.R. Whitney Award

Joe Whitney served as a member of the UTAGA committee since its inception in 1993. This award, established in 2014 by the University of Toronto Association of Geography Alumni (UTAGA), recognizes Joe Whitney’s contribution as a
founding member of UTAGA, former department chair and his longtime service to the Association. The award is given on the basis of academic excellence to a graduate student studying the environment or international development.