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Longtime UOIT benefactors appointed to the Order of Canada

Insignia representing a Member of the Order of Canada.
Insignia representing a Member of the Order of Canada.

Two longtime friends and supporters of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) are receiving the Order of Canada, one of the nation’s highest civilian honours.


Noreen Taylor and Helen Vari, both of Toronto, Ontario, were announced as Members of the Order of Canada by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada in December 2015. Both will accept their insignia at a ceremony at a later date.

Noreen Taylor is recognized for her engagement and contributions to Canada’s artistic communities, notably as the founder of the Charles P. Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. Taylor is the daughter-in-law of the late E.P. Taylor, wife of the late Charles Taylor and President of Windfields Farm Limited. Under the Campus Master Plan, a large portion of the Windfields property will be home to future expansion of the university.

Helen Vari is recognized for her philanthropic and volunteer contributions, and for her extensive service to educational, cultural and social initiatives. In 1984, Vari and her late husband the Honourable George Vari established the Vari Foundation, of which she is President. The foundation has helped students of all abilities and backgrounds at many educational institutions with scholarship donations, and provided support for teaching programs and financial gifts. In 2015, the university presented Helen Vari with the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. 

The Order of Canada was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Over the last 45 years, more than 6,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.

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