About Saint Mary's
Honorary Degree - Julie Toskan-Casale
4 May, 2015
Doctor of Civil Law, Honoris Causa
A committed philanthropist and Canadian business success story, Julie Toskan-Casale believes in the unlimited potential of individuals and collective communities. Since founding the Toskan Casale Foundation, she has directed her strengths and resources towards nurturing positive change for individuals in local communities across Canada.
In 1985, Ms. Toskan-Casale worked alongside Frank Angelo and her brother Frank Toskan as the two co-founded M∙A∙C Cosmetics Ltd., one of the cosmetic industry's biggest success stories. During her time with M∙A∙C, Ms. Toskan-Casale headed up the global marketing and public relations division. She was instrumental in the creation of the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund, which she also oversaw during her time with the company.
When Estée Lauder purchased M∙A∙C in 1998, Julie chose to continue with the aspect of life at M∙A∙C she had found most rewarding. She dedicated herself to the practice of engaged and informed philanthropy, determined to build a philanthropic venture with a strategic underpinning. In 1999, Julie became the first Canadian to graduate from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Philanthropy Workshop. In 2001, along with Frank Toskan and Victor Casale, she established The Toskan Casale Foundation – a family foundation dedicated to supporting and strengthening community-based social programs and organizations.
In 2002, Julie created the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI), which combines in-class learning with community development experience to give high school students tools for understanding and engaging in philanthropic activity. YPI teaches the fundamentals of philanthropy while enhancing school curriculum to build students’ presentation, research, writing, communication and consensus-building skills, while also increasing advocacy for, and funding grants to, local charitable organizations. Since its launch, the program has enabled young philanthropists to donate over $10 million to community-based social service charities. YPI is currently run in over 200 schools across Canada, the UK and New York City.
Julie has been honoured as the recipient of the Hadassah-Wizo Organization of Canada’s Woman of Achievement award (2007), the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Toronto Chapter’s Outstanding Foundation award (2008), the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Canadian Best Practice in Civic Education award (2010), the Premier’s Award for Philanthropy in Education (2011), and the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism (2014). Most recently, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, awarded Julie Toskan-Casale the 2014 Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship.