Our Mission

LIFE Institute enables adults age 50+ to pursue their passion for life-long learning through a wide range of educational courses, activities and related
opportunities to volunteer.

Our Vision

LIFE Institute, a leader in life-long learning, inspiring and fulfilling a community of adults 50+ through Continuing Education at Ryerson University.

LIFE Then and LIFE Now: A Few Changes!

Twenty-eight years ago, honorary and one of LIFE's founding members, Fran Gruber, answered a little ad in the Retired Teachers' newsletter calling for volunteers for a research project looking at senior programs in North York. The next step was Ryerson - and LIFE was born in 1991.

Those early days were both challenging and exciting and Fran Gruber became the first President of the fledgling organization with the first task to set up the original mandate. What has changed in 28 years? Everything!

View History
LIFE 25th Anniversary Celebration (December 2015), Left to Right: Frances Smookler, Jack Marmer, Judith Levkoe, Louise Brousseau, Geoffrey Arnold, Margaret Edgar and Simon Pearson. Photo by: Jan R. Schwarz

Board of Directors


Milvi worked in various leadership positions at IBM and Lenovo developing sales and marketing programs that delivered win-win solutions for customers and business. She has chaired both strategic and implementation committees and was Executive Secretary for the Board.


Angele was a senior manager for pharmaceutical companies in Canada, United States, Europe and Asia. Experienced with international cross-functional teams, steering committees, executive boards, and expert medical panels.


Lorne spent 40+ years in various manufacturing environments. Lorne’s focus has been in sales and marketing with a major emphasis in organizational behavior and development.

Finance & Audit Committee Chair

Alan was a chartered accountant and partner in Price Waterhouse Cooper and as Alan M. Lavine CPA, CA Consultancy. Served on committees and boards of public, private and non-profit organizations.


Phillip’s career focused on social and strategic corporate policy, the machinery of government and intergovernmental relations. He was head of the department that oversees all social housing, emergency shelter and housing support programs in Toronto.

Past President

Ginny owned and operated a boutique consulting firm engaged in management consulting with an emphasis on clarifying and articulating strategic planning. She also has significant board experience.

HR Committee Chair

Barbara is a past president of Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto, where she chaired the Standing Nominating Committee and co-chaired the Governance Committee.

Harvey is a Certified Professional Accountant. He has held executive positions on the Board of Directors of Circle of Care, which provides home services for the elderly.

Tracy has held executive roles in marketing, strategic planning and general management with Coca-Cola Canada, Levis Strauss Canada, Holt Renfrew, Cara Operations and Ault Foods (now Parmalat).

Paul is a pharmacist and lawyer in Ontario and a patent and trademark agent in Canada and in the United States. He  serves on the Board of several Canadian and U.S. companies.

Rhonda has 20+ years of senior leadership within corporate, entrepreneurial and not for profit environment.  She has been a frequent speaker on Cultural Intelligence.

Janice is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). She recently retired from Ryerson University where she was Vice President, Administration and Finance.

Governance Committee Chair

Donna was Executive Director, Quality Assurance for the Council of Ontario Universities. She also has considerable administrative, board and advisory experience.

Dalia Hanna photo
Program Director of Community Services and Director Programs for 50+ at the Chang School


Annual Report

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Strategic Plan

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Financial Statements

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Board Committees

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Deborah Bonk Greenwood
Executive Director
 Rosanne Bernard
Program Manager
Denise Smith
Manager Volunteer Services
Mackenzie Deane
Office Assistant

Make a Donation

Give Your Way

What kind of difference do you want to make? You love our community and there are countless ways to help it grow and thrive. Whatever your goals and no matter your means, your contribution will be valued and meaningful, even to RU Students.


Community Building

If you want to support the LIFE community in general, your gift enables LIFE to respond to requests from members for innovative programs, address membership needs and take on innovative new projects. All contributing to our growing and vibrant LIFE community.