Gift to Trent Durham Supports Students, Transforms Spaces

June 26, 2024

People smiling for the picture

Philanthropists Edmond and Sylvia Vanhaverbeke support medicine garden, bring nationally significant art to life on campus, and support students through scholarships, prizes, and employment 

A momentous gift from Edmond and Sylvia Vanhaverbeke will support Trent University Durham GTA in myriad ways including creating student prize and emergency funds, providing students with jobs, supporting the Campus Community Medicine Garden and installing a nationally significant art installation on campus.  

“We thank the Vanhaverbekes for supporting Trent Durham GTA students and transforming the campus spaces,” said Donna Doherty, campaign director at Trent University.  

Edmond, president and founder of Syvan Developments Limited, and Sylvia are ardent community supporters and have been recognized for their financial and volunteer contributions to various causes and campaigns in the Durham Region including previous gifts to Trent Durham GTA. 

This most recent gift tops up the existing Ed & Sylvia Vanhaverbeke Durham Scholarship for Business students and creates an array of Vanhaverbeke Family Prizes for students in the following programs: Communications/Journalism, Child & Youth Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Anthropology, English, and Policing & Community Wellbeing.  

Students will also gain on-campus employment opportunities and access to new emergency assistance funds.  

The gift also supports the Community Medicine Garden, which will be used for student programming and teaching opportunities. The medicine garden design incorporates an accessible healing pathway with a sculpture installation and education panels to support learning and reflection.

Thanks to the Vanhaverbekes, who are art enthusiasts, a nationally significant art collection by Indigenous artist Carl Beam will also be brought to life at Trent Durham. The gift supports installation of the Carl Beam Musician Series that features original artwork showcasing musical legends Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, Paul McCartney, Ella Fitzgerald Little Richard, and John Lennon.

For more information about supporting Trent University, please contact Donna Doherty, campaign director, at