In 1992, 20 years after the opening of Overlea Secondary School a small group of friends decided to hold the first school reunion at the Ontario Science Centre. Alumni, teachers, and administrators attended, and the event was a great success. With the surplus funds, the very first alumni scholarship was established. Thirty years on, the volunteer-led Alumni Association continues to support students, provide scholarships, and connect alumni.
Historically, in realizing why the group began in 1992, interested members looked to formalize the giving process. Led by the elected First President: Dawn Dickinson (nee:Kasprzak, Graduate Class of 1975) the members moved forward and registered the Alumni Association as a charitable organization. The Association was incorporated on Jan 31, 2002 by former student Rahul Shastri (Graduate Class of 1982) and now Managing Partner at law firm Kagan Shastri LLP – https://ksllp.ca/.
The steps taken to cement the existence of the Association and provide funds to students led to the creation of an ‘oversight’ Finance Committee steered by retired teacher Greg Lang who taught at the school from 1973 to 2000. Today, Greg manages a team of volunteers consisting of former teachers and students who all share in the vision of giving back to the students and institution. With this strictly managed financial discipline the association has seen the scholarship offerings increase substantially over the years. However, we are always in need to meet the consistent and growing demand.
Via outreach, the Association currently carries an email distribution of over 1,600 …and growing, spanning over the 50 Years of Overlea Secondary School / Marc Garneau Collegiate. The Board today is a partnership of alumni, school administrators and volunteers who all share in the strong belief of supporting student success.
All have a great appreciation for the positive impacts of the scholarships. With available funding the Association’s representatives work to ensure students pursuing post-secondary studies have access to financial assistance for their future educational endeavours. To fund the scholarships, the Association has hosted events such as: Anniversary Galas, Golf Tournaments Online Auctions and social gatherings around the city, with all proceeds going towards scholarships and bursaries.
While the Association’s mission is to lend financial support to student education via the scholarships, the Association also looks to relationship building as another important element for members of the alumni family. Through mentorship, fostering Co–Op relationships with students and providing opportunities for alumni reconnections, OGAA members are the schools greatest ambassadors, continuing to instill a sense of pride and build community.
The Association is fully aware that the list of volunteers and participants who have helped us grow is endless. A debt of thanks for the success and longevity of the Association goes to the incredible and dedicated representatives, faithful volunteers, school administration and financial donors who have supported the cause. We extend our thanks to all who joined us on the journey and drove us to a successful 30 years! We look forward to many more years of educational support for the students of Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute.
The Association also continues to be very grateful and proud of the current members – volunteers and donor contributors, knowing the work, effort and funding are sponsoring future leaders and innovators of our OGAA community.
Want to give back to your alma mater? Want to have a positive impact on people’s lives? Do consider volunteering with the Alumni Association, become a co-op employer, become a mentor, or become a donor to the scholarship fund. Your interest and support will make a difference!
Last Updated on July 2021