Friends in school; friends in fundraising for a new scholarship

The CivMin Class of 1T5 and 1T5+PEY gathers to reunite and fundraise for a new scholarship

The CivMin Class of 1T5 gathers for group photo at their reunion event in the Prenup Pub in Toronto on Friday, February 3, 2023. (Photo by Phill Snel, CivMin / U of T)

The CivMin Class of 1T5 and 1T5+PEY had an impressive in-person turnout for a recent reunion. On Friday, February 3, 2023 some 50 attendees included about 40 alumni from the graduating class of 2015 (and 2015+PEY) of both Civil and Mineral Engineering students, as well as some spouses, and some CivMin faculty and staff. The venue: the unofficial gathering spot for Engineering – the Prenup Pub on College St.

The goal of this gathering was not just social. There’s ulterior motives afoot; a new scholarship named for the class is planned. Now,  into the fundraising campaign, a halfway point in the fundraising is being surpassed. With a goal of $25,000, the group is reinvigorating its ranks to push towards the finish line.

Spearheaded by alumnus Ernesto Diaz Lozano Patiño (CivE 1T5), ever the perpetual organizer of gatherings since his time at U of T as an undergraduate. The group first heard of this lofty proposal as they celebrated a class reunion virtually on Friday, May 28, 2021. The pandemic necessitated an online gathering, since in-person gatherings were limited in attendance. The digital platform, Gathertown, allowed for navigating around a virtual room as an avatar walking and socializing in groups, as well as giving the host the ability to address all gathered.

As their first-ever class reunion it wasn’t as they’d imagined, but was in keeping with protocols and, by happy accident, allowed more classmates to join from further away. The strength in numbers, with nearly 50 signed up for the online reunion. It was followed with an August Zoom meeting and, finally, this most recent in-person event.

As a third-year student, a decade ago, Diaz Lozano Patiño first conceived of the idea to found a scholarship for their year’s graduating class. With early thoughts of providing support to a student in need, the then future benefactor has now challenged his colleagues with fulfilling this ultimate objective.

With fellow Engineering alumni Stephanie Daou, Boze Xu and Matheos Tsiaras lending their expertise, the endeavour is receiving plenty of attention. Support not only comes from classmates, but the Department and the Faculty as well. Engineering Alumni Relations attended the pub night, generously offering branded tuques on the frigid evening. CivMin’s Chair, Prof. Brent Sleep, along with Student Services Director Nelly Pietropaolo and Prof. Evan Bentz all offered their support and admiration for the worthy cause.

The scholarship will have a lasting legacy far beyond the lifespan of the donors, which is exactly what has been intended from the outset. Giving a little back can last generations, with ripples of influence casting far and wide.  Examples of alumni class donations of the past, such as 3T5, 5T6 and more, were given.

Though many have opted for a lump sum payment, to make it nearly pain-free it’s been offered to have monthly donations of $41.60 per month spread out over two years, resulting in a $1,000 donation per alum. All donations are tax deductible and will receive a charitable tax receipt.

Just how far and wide did attendees come from? As Diaz Lozano Patiño notes, “Seth Hayto attended from Vancouver, and I think they would get the long-distance award!”

By Phill Snel


If you would like to make your scholarship pledge online, please visit:
You can also make your pledge by phone or email by contacting
Karen Lee at U of T: 416-428-9594 or
As a reminder, you can pledge a donation to be paid in instalments over a period of months or years;
for example, $200 a year (or $17/month) for five years results in a $1,000 donation.
All donations will receive a charitable tax receipt.