Marvin Gerstein, a great friend and supporter of the University of Toronto Libraries, passed away at the age of 90 on February 12, 2018. Through Mr. Gerstein’s generosity as a trustee of the Frank Gerstein Charitable Foundation, students and scholars for generations to come will have access to first-rate services, collections and study spaces at the Gerstein Science Information Centre.
Mr. Gerstein’s philanthropic leadership has made an enormous impact on this library over the last twenty years. In 1997, the University of Toronto Science and Medicine Library was renamed The Gerstein Science Information Centre in the Sigmund Samuel Library in recognition of a significant gift from the Frank Gerstein Charitable Foundation. In 2007/2008, the heritage wing of the library received a major renovation thanks to both Gerstein family foundations. The Gerstein Reading Room, with its beautiful ceiling and architectural features, was part of this renovation. One of the most striking and spacious study areas on campus, it is always full of hard-working students during the academic year.
The Marvin Gerstein Room, named in 2000 in recognition of a generous gift by the Foundation, has become associated with a popular program which enhances the student campus experience in a unique way. Since November 2012, our ‘Paws For A Break’ program has offered students an opportunity to reduce anxiety at exam time with a visit to Bella, the St. John Ambulance therapy dog, in the Marvin Gerstein Room. An average of 450 students per term have benefited from time with Bella since the program began, which means that literally thousands of University of Toronto students now associate Mr. Gerstein with a calm, supportive environment when they need it the most.
We will remain forever grateful to Marvin Gerstein and his family for their philanthropic legacy and support of the Libraries.