Media Releases

Dr. Eric Jackman donates $5 million to U of T Institute of Child Study

December 3, 2010

TORONTO, ON – The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to has announced that Dr. Eric Jack­man has donat­ed $5 mil­lion to the Insti­tute of Child Study – a land­mark gift in Cana­da for ear­ly devel­op­ment and child­hood edu­ca­tion.

In recog­ni­tion of the gift, U of T has renamed the 85-year-old Insti­tute of Child Study (ICS) the
Dr. Eric Jack­man Insti­tute of Child Study, which is part of the University’s Ontario Insti­tute for Stud­ies in Edu­ca­tion (OISE), Depart­ment of Human Devel­op­ment and Applied Psy­chol­o­gy. The Dr. Eric Jack­man Insti­tute of Child Study is one of the few places in the world to inte­grate advanced research, renowned grad­u­ate teacher train­ing and a demon­stra­tion mod­el of prac­ti­cal ele­men­tary school­ing at one place.

“Dr. Jackman’s gift demon­strates his firm belief in the Institute’s unique and inte­grat­ed approach to the study of human devel­op­ment, fam­i­ly dynam­ics and child­hood edu­ca­tion,” said U of T Pres­i­dent David Nay­lor.  “We are already a leader in this area. With Eric Jackman’s sup­port, we can build on these strong foun­da­tions, con­tin­ue to inno­vate, and devel­op best prac­tices that will improve out­comes of ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­tion for chil­dren and fam­i­lies every­where.”

OISE Dean Julia O’Sullivan says the gift will gen­er­ate enor­mous ben­e­fits for the Insti­tute: “Dr. Eric Jack­man’s extra­or­di­nary gen­eros­i­ty will allow OISE to expand its reach and deep­en its impact, mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in the lives of chil­dren, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties here at home and around the world.  On behalf of every­one at OISE, and of all those whose lives will be enriched through your gift, thank you Dr. Jack­man.”

Found­ed in 1925–26, the Insti­tute and its Lab School have exert­ed a pro­found influ­ence on ear­ly edu­ca­tion.  ICS research led direct­ly to the adop­tion of the Ontario Day Nurs­eries Act in 1942. Almost 70 years lat­er, the Insti­tute con­tin­ues to lead the way. Ontario’s recent­ly-announced Full-Day Ear­ly Learn­ing Kinder­garten pro­gram was mod­eled in large part on Insti­tute find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions.

“I am pleased to be able to make a finan­cial con­tri­bu­tion to one of my life­long inter­ests – the under­stand­ing of ear­ly human devel­op­ment, and to enlight­en­ing edu­ca­tors and par­ents alike to the very best child-rear­ing and edu­ca­tion­al prac­tices,” said Dr. Eric Jack­man. “I believe that sup­port­ing the Insti­tute, one of the orig­i­nal child study cen­tres in North Amer­i­ca with which I have a per­son­al con­nec­tion, will enhance our knowl­edge of how we devel­op and learn.”

Insti­tute direc­tor Dr. Janette Pel­leti­er says the Insti­tute is indebt­ed to Eric for his mile­stone gift and for sup­port­ing the shared need to bet­ter under­stand ear­ly human devel­op­ment and improve child­hood edu­ca­tion. “We look for­ward to build­ing an expand­ed Dr. Eric Jack­man Insti­tute of Child Study. The tim­ing of this great gift is espe­cial­ly impor­tant as we begin to con­nect Ontario’s new Full-Day Ear­ly Learn­ing Kinder­garten pol­i­cy to our ground-break­ing work in fam­i­ly lit­er­a­cy, par­ent engage­ment and the ben­e­fits of inquiry-based teach­ing.”

Dr. Eric Jackman’s lead gift to the $12 mil­lion ICS Build­ing Cam­paign launch­es the pub­lic phase of the Cam­paign, for which over two third’s has been raised. A mod­ern wing will be added to a planned ren­o­va­tion for Leighton G. McCarthy House, fea­tur­ing a large mul­ti-pur­pose auditorium/gymnasium to strength­en exist­ing Insti­tute pro­gram­ming and accom­mo­date new com­mu­ni­ty out­reach pro­grams for the pub­lic.

The expand­ed facil­i­ty, cen­tral­ly locat­ed, will allow the Dr. Eric Jack­man Insti­tute of Child Study to open its doors to serve Toron­to fam­i­lies for best-prac­tice teach­ing and fam­i­ly learn­ing; as well as wel­come the broad­er edu­ca­tion com­mu­ni­ty and relat­ed dis­ci­plines.  These pro­grams will be under­tak­en in part­ner­ship with gov­ern­ments, pub­lic school boards and pro­fes­sion­al and com­mu­ni­ty agen­cies.

Chair of the Advi­so­ry Board for the ICS Build­ing Cam­paign since 2004, Dr. Eric Jack­man has been a sup­port­er of the Uni­ver­si­ty for many years.  He is chair­man of the Jack­man Foun­da­tion as well as Invic­ta Invest­ments. As a com­mu­ni­ty leader Dr. Jack­man, togeth­er with his wife Sara Jack­man, has com­bined a pas­sion for the arts and edu­ca­tion with tire­less pro­fes­sion­al ded­i­ca­tion to fam­i­ly well-being.

After com­plet­ing his BA and MA at U of T, Eric Jack­man earned a doc­tor­al degree in human devel­op­ment and psy­chol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go, where he did ear­ly field work at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go Lab­o­ra­to­ry School. Dr. Jack­man was an award-win­ning clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist in the Unit­ed States before return­ing to Toron­to, and cur­rent­ly serves as Pres­i­dent of the Psy­chol­o­gy Foun­da­tion of Cana­da. Dr. Jack­man is Chan­cel­lor Emer­i­tus of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wind­sor.  Among his many hon­ours are the CMHA C.M. Hincks Nation­al Award for Men­tal Health, Canada’s 125th Anniver­sary Com­mem­o­ra­tive Medal, Her Majesty’s Gold­en Jubilee Medal, the Order of Ontario, and has been rec­og­nized by three Ontario uni­ver­si­ties with hon­orary doc­tor of laws degrees.

Dr. Eric Jack­man and his three sib­lings – Chan­cel­lor Emer­i­tus (U of T) Hal Jack­man, the Rev. Edward Jack­man and Sen­a­tor Nan­cy Ruth – all attend­ed what is now known as the ICS Lab School.

Since its estab­lish­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, the Insti­tute has con­tin­ued its tri­par­tite mis­sion, which, in addi­tion to inno­v­a­tive class­room prac­tice, inte­grates the Laid­law Research Cen­tre and a two-year Mas­ter of Arts pro­gram in Child Study and Edu­ca­tion and Ontario Teacher cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. The Dr. Eric Jack­man Insti­tute of Child Study reg­u­lar­ly hosts dis­tin­guished schol­ars and edu­ca­tors from around the world who rec­og­nize it as a source of inspi­ra­tion that links what we know about children’s devel­op­ment, to opti­mal learn­ing in the class­room and grad­u­ate teacher edu­ca­tion.


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Kate Brand
OISE Com­mu­ni­ca­tions