The Weeknd Donates $50,000 To University of Toronto
Mon, 08 Aug 2016 09:30:08
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The Weeknd has donated $50,000 to the University of Toronto to help establish an Ethiopic Studies program.
In a report via the Toronto Star we learned that the donation came about after the Bikila Award organization (which awarded the singer its Professional Excellence Award in 2014) reached out to see if the GRAMMY award winning R&B star would contribute to the fund.
"It's unbelievable. He grew up in Toronto as an Ethiopian-Canadian, and now he's giving back to the community." Tam Gebeyehu, board member of the Bikila Award told the Toronto Star.
The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, is an Ethiopian-Canadian, whose parents emigrated from Ethiopia. He immediately answered the request for funds, and surprised the Bikila Awards with his rapid response of generosity. The $50,000 donation will contribute toward "a course on the Ge'ez, an ancient Ethiopian script and language also known as Ethiopic."
The Bikila Award, named after Ethiopian Olympic hero Abebe Bikila who won gold twice running barefoot in the marathon in the 1960s, is an organization created to foster academic, professional and business excellence and promote volunteerism among Ethiopian-Canadians.
The donation came about when University of Toronto professor Michael Gervers, of the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies, pledged to donate $50,000 of his own money, if the university and the Ethiopian community could match the contribution.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff