Stories of Support

Celebrating U of T connections with a Landmark project tree

Charmed by the idea of putting down literal roots at the University of Toronto, alumni Katherine and Adam Carney donated a tree to the Landmark Project.

Five-year-old Will Carney sits on the lap of a smiling Katherine Carney and looks up at a smiling Adam Carney
Left to right: Katherine Carney (BA 2008 NEW), Adam Carney (BPHE 2007) and their son Will

“The University of Toronto is a central character in our story as a couple and as a family,” says Katherine Carney (BA 2008 NEW), who graduated with a degree in history and art and now works as a senior graphic designer for the Division of University Advancement. “Adam and I got engaged while we were students, we both worked at U of T when we were in school—and I still do!—and now we love bringing our son Will, who’s five, to events like Kids’ Passport at Alumni Reunion and to watch Varsity football and hockey games.”

Katherine and her husband Adam Carney (BPHE 2007), an Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities, have generously donated a tree to the Landmark Project to commemorate their deep connection to the University, and to create a new and “very special” place on campus where they can spend time as a family.

“Adam and I are both very sentimental,” says Katherine. “We love the idea of a tree—of having literal roots here at U of T and being able to mark our son’s growth alongside our tree. Maybe one day we’ll be able to take a family photo in front of it on Will’s graduation day.”


One of the most significant open space projects to take place on the St. George campus since the 19th century, the Landmark Project will make a substantial contribution to greening our downtown campus and achieving U of T’s 2030 commitment to sustainability.

In addition to planting more than 200 trees, the introduction of new gardens and other plantings will contribute to cleaner soil, air and water, and provide vital cooling and shade during summer months. And with cars no longer dominating the landscape, the initiative will create a much more people-centric campus experience.

As part of the Landmark Project, the University is also installing a major geothermal field beneath King’s College Circle, with the potential to save U of T 15,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year—equivalent to taking more than 3,000 vehicles off the road.


“We’ve supported U of T in the past and will continue to do so in a variety of ways,” says Katherine, “but the tangible nature of the Landmark Project makes this opportunity really unique. The ability to have our own tree planted in the historic heart of campus—that has our names attached to it—is very special to us.”

A variety of gift recognition opportunities are available through the Landmark Project, including personalized granite paving stones that will be placed in the area outside Convocation Hall. These opportunities offer a distinctive and meaningful way to pay tribute to a loved one, celebrate a milestone or honour important memories of your time at U of T.

“I get really emotional when I talk about how much it means that we’re able to give something back to our alma mater,” says Adam. “I feel like I can’t adequately express how proud I am to be part of this place. It took me a few years after I graduated to figure that out. But as my involvement with the University has grown, so has the pride—exponentially.”

Join Katherine and Adam in reimagining U of T’s downtown campus as an even greener and more inspiring place to learn, live and work. Read more of our donor storiestake a look at the renderings and discover how you too can leave your mark!

Posted on April 8, 2019