Throughout decades of volunteering and philanthropy, Toronto accountant John K. Fenton has offered time, expertise and financial support to a diverse group of organizations, including Humber College. His contributions to Humber have directly benefited students through his volunteer leadership and scholarship support.
Fenton has maintained a relationship with Humber for more than 25 years, beginning as a member of Humber’s Board of Governors, where he served for six years. Following that, he formed the Audit Committee, which he served on for 19 years, using his skills as a Chartered Professional Accountant to help guide Humber’s finances. “Of the 26 boards and committees that I served on, Humber was by far my favourite,” he shares. “My years on the Board of Governors and the Audit Committee represent the best years of involvement in the non-profit sector.”
He continued his dedication to Humber when he established the endowed John K. Fenton Scholarship to help students across the college finance their education and embark on fulfilling careers. Part of what inspired him to give to Humber stemmed from a trip abroad, where he witnessed poverty that opened his eyes to the benefit of education – and he decided that he could support people to gain a valuable education back home in Ontario. Over the past 20 years, he has supported dozens of Humber students to pursue their dreams.
As a monthly scholarship donor, he is motivated to continue supporting this cause that he finds so immensely rewarding. “I will never forget a time when I presented a scholarship to a student and she ran up to me to thank me. She was with her parents, who didn’t speak English, but they were smiling from ear to ear,” he says. “They were so happy and grateful. To experience that is the greatest benefit you can receive from giving. I view the scholarship as a unique privilege in contributing to the education of young people, and I will continue it as long as I am alive.”
Fenton has had a rich career as an accountant and was recently recognized as a Fellow by CPA Ontario for his achievements and contributions in his career and in the community, rendering exceptional service to the profession. He has served on a number of boards, including Humber College, the Elmer Iseler Singers, Yonge Street Mission and The Dalton School.
Humber is immensely grateful to Fenton for his enduring support for students – many of whom would not be where they are today without his scholarship. His years of service through volunteer leadership positions have also helped Humber become the college it is today. “Anyone can make a difference,” says Fenton. “It’s not about giving millions – it’s about giving what you can. Knowing you can make an impact is worth more than any amount you can give.”