The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation to support University facilities, selected programming with $4M gift

The gift will support upgrades to the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building on York University’s Keele Campus, provide operating funding to CIFAL York and support a new operations facility for the Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation initiative.

York was honoured to welcome alumnus and philanthropist Victor Dahdaleh and his wife Mona to campus to celebrate the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation’s new $4-million gift to the University. 

The gift will support upgrades to the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building, provide operating funding to CIFAL York, which is Canada’s first United Nations Centre to address the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), and support the Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation (ADERSIM) initiative with a new operations facility.

“Through the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation, Victor and Mona’s commitment to York is matched only by their interest in driving positive change particularly supporting global health and education initiatives,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. The foundation’s generous investment will allow York to expand capacity for research and training in areas of particular importance to the world, through health and disaster and risk management, but also to further York’s commitment to actioning the UN SDGs.” 

 From left, York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton, Victor Dahdaleh, Mona Dahdaleh and York Vice-President Advancement Susana Gajic-Bruyea
Above: From left, York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton, Victor Dahdaleh, Mona Dahdaleh and York Vice-President Advancement Susana Gajic-Bruyea

CIFAL York brings together experts, policy-makers and practitioners from around the world to work on problems in the areas of sustainable development, disaster and emergency management, diversity and inclusion, economic development, global health, and entrepreneurship collaborating on programs, training and research. The Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Advanced Disaster and Health Emergency Operations Facility will provide students with hands-on research and training experience in evaluating and enhancing disaster and emergency planning and rapid emergency response strategies in Ontario, across Canada and around the world.

“The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation has an extensive history of supporting education and health care research in Canada and around the world – giving back to those in need through our support but more importantly making a real difference,” said Victor Dahdaleh. “York’s leadership in health research and training and its unique interdisciplinary approach continues to be inspiring. James Orbinski, professor and director of the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, and his talented team of researchers are driving important advances that will have a positive impact for Canada and Canadians, but also to communities in need around the world as we continue to navigate future challenges in health and other global crises that require creative solutions.”

The donation from The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation brings its total support to York to $24.25 million. Dahdaleh is the largest alumni donor in the University’s history – with a degree in business administration from York.

The foundation’s original donation of $20 million established the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research and helped to realize a revolutionary approach to global health research. 

Further support of $150,000 assisted York in establishing the COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Fund, which has helped students navigate the challenges and burdens presented by the pandemic.



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