Bob Baun remembered by Oshawa’s Ontario Tech as friend of the school and key benefactor

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Published August 16, 2023 at 11:43 am

Sallie and Bob Baun attending a Donor Appreciation Reception at Windfields Farm in 2014.

Ontario Tech is mourning the death of hockey legend Bob Baun, a key benefactor to the university and the recipient of the university’s first honourary degrees in 2007.

Baun, who won four Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs and famously scored an overtime winner on a broken ankle in the 1964 final, died Tuesday. He was 86.

A long-time businessman in Pickering and Ajax after his playing career ended (he owned several Tim Hortons franchises for a time), Baun was a noted philanthropist who “positively impacted countless lives” and actively assisted many different charities over the years.

Baun was a friend of the university, especially in the school’s early years, helping to provide scholarships and bursaries for students, Ontario Tech said in a statement.

His connection to the university began in 2004 as a community ambassador who opened doors to major contributors such as The Joyce Family Foundation and The Yuill Family Foundation. Baun attended many Ridgebacks events and even occasionally travelled with the men’s hockey team for road games. He also initiated fundraising events to support varsity athletes, “always with the condition that scholarships would be distributed equally between the men’s and women’s varsity teams.”

In 2007 the university established the Bob and Sallie Baun Varsity Scholarship, setting an investment goal of $250,000 to support perpetual giving, and enabling an annual disbursement to four deserving student-athletes. Baun also recently donated his sports memorabilia collection to the university, with the intention that any proceeds of his collection be directed to the scholarship fund. As of March 2023, thirty-three Ontario Tech student-athletes have received a Baun scholarship.

“On behalf of the Ontario Tech community, I express our deepest condolences to Bob’s family, friends and countless admirers,” said Ontario Tech President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Steven Murphy. “Bob’s generosity, record of philanthropic activity, support of higher education and quiet compassion for others helped change students’ lives. His legacy will be the class with which he played pro sports, and how important it was to him to give back to the next generation of student-athletes. Bobby Baun will forever be a cherished part of the Ontario Tech story.”

As Bob Baun himself said, “When you dare to dream, you dare to connect to that part of yourself that says, ‘Yes, I can achieve this goal and become a successful person along the way.’ In the end it’s not only about achieving that milestone you set out for yourself, but becoming the person you were meant to be.”

 

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