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Paul Shaffer Honors Parents With Bench At University Of Toronto

Paul Shaffer Honors Parents With Bench At University Of Toronto

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TORONTO (CelebrityAccess) Paul Shaffer, alum of the University of Toronto, has dedicated a bench on the campus to his parents as part of the university’s Landmark Project campaign.

Shaffer, former bandleader for “The Late Show with David Letterman,” graduated from the university in 1971 and his father, Bernard Shaffer, graduated in 1936.

“That I was going to U of T was predetermined, preordained, and I didn’t question it,” Shaffer said, according to Boundless: The Campaign for the University of Toronto. “I knew U of T was a great school; it was his school. I was raised on stories about my father’s student days, his fraternity hijinks, performing in the UC Follies. He loved the place.”

The bench, situated in front of the campus’s University College, is inspired by a campaign that offered commemorative benches, granite paving stones and other tributes that ended Dec. 31. It brought in more than 104,000 donors from nearly 100 countries, setting a record $2.6 billion for Canadian philanthropy. Donations helped revitalize and restore U of T’s three campuses and funded landmark research across various fields.

“For my dad, University College and Hart House were special places,” Shaffer said. “For me, it was Sir Dan’s, where I was in residence for two years. So I wanted to recognize that part of the campus with this donation.”

Shaffer also wanted to honor his mother, Shirley.

“It would have been more obvious to just dedicate the bench to my dad since he was a U of T graduate,” he says. “But my mother was a Toronto girl. She was born and raised here, and she loved the city. It makes sense to me to include both of their names because the two of them were certainly partners in raising me and shaping who I’ve become.

“I thank my parents for instilling in me the importance of a good education,” he added. “I’m very appreciative that through the Landmark Project I’m getting the opportunity to honor my parents and all they did for me.”

Shaffer is also lined up as the host of a new weekly television show that will pair Shaffer with other noted musicians and performing artists as they discuss their legacies, influences, and experiences in the music industry. They’ll also perform impromptu live versions of some of their best-known hits.

The half-hour show is set to debut on AXS TV with an eight-episode first season starting on Sunday, September 15 at 8 PM.

h/t University of Toronto


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