Sandra Ann Rotman, CM OOnt is a Canadian philanthropist and community leader. She and her husband, Joseph Rotman, O.C., LL.D, frequently direct their philanthropy as a couple to support Canadian institutions in the arts, health and education. Over the past twenty years, Sandra Rotman and her husband, Joseph, have served on many boards and have donated more than $90 million. In 2006, Sandra Rotman was honoured with the Order of Ontario and in 2009, was awarded an Honorary LL.D. from the University of Toronto. She married Joseph L. Rotman in 1959 and they have two children, Janis and Kenneth. The Rotmans live in Toronto, Canada.
Sandra Rotman has served on the Boards of several Canadian institutions in the arts, health and education:Vice Chair - Rotman CAMH Social Enterprise Development / Rise Asset Development 2011–present
Vice Chair – Ontario Heritage Foundation 1998–2004
Board of Trustees – University Health Network 1998–2008
Board of Directors, Art Gallery of Ontario 2004 – present
Sotheby’s Canada International Advisory Board 2002 – present
Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum – Honorary Chair 1990–present
Contemporary Curatorial Committee, Art Gallery of Ontario 1985–2000
Board of Directors, Toronto International Film Festival 1989–1998
Board of Directors, National Ballet of Canada 1987–1993
Mrs. Rotman is a long-standing supporter of health institutions in Canada.
She and her husband have supported the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care in Toronto for close to three decades, helping to transform it from a home for the aged into one of the world’s most respected research institutes in the broad area of aging and dementia. In 1989, they established the Rotman Research Institute to create knowledge in cognitive neuroscience including cognitive theory, the aging process, sophisticated imaging methods and analyses and to translate the most recent research directly to benefit patients.
Also at Baycrest, she created the Sandra A. Rotman Program in Neuropsychiatry which aims to ensure that new discoveries and new treatments through a combination of neurology and psychiatry are transferred more effectively to the elderly population.
For more than two decades, Sandra Rotman has been a contributor to the respected University Health Network in downtown Toronto as a board member and a donor. University Health Network comprises three Toronto teaching hospitals, Toronto General Hospital; Princess Margaret Hospital, the largest cancer hospital in North America; and Toronto Western Hospital. Together, University Health Network makes up the largest medical centre in Canada.
Established by both University Health Network and the University of Toronto, the Sandra Rotman Centre focuses on promoting innovation in global health through translational research on malaria, through ethics, social and cultural research and to help researchers and companies get life sciences technologies to those who need them in the developing world. The Centre hosts Grand Challenges Canada, a federally funded program to promote bold ideas with big impact in global health.
Recently, the Sandra Rotman Centre announced grants to developing world vaccine advocates to encourage vaccination in an innovative way. The story garnered media attention in 15 countries .
Also at the University Health Network and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is the Sandra Rotman Chair in Health Sector Strategy, an endowment focused on developing the next generation of Canadian healthcare leaders and advancing evidence-based decision-making and policy development in the health care sector. Healthcare is Canada’s largest industry and through the leadership and generosity of Sandra Rotman, the discipline of business and economic principles are being reinforced in healthcare management education to bring excellence to this crucial area of Canadian life.
Sandra Rotman founded Rise Asset Development with a $1 million donation in 2009. Rise Asset Development partners with the Rotman School of Management to provide free business mentoring and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for health supports, empowering entrepreneurs living with mental illness and addictions to access investment capital, become self-employed as well as build successful, self-sustaining businesses.
Sandra Rotman has served on the boards of several major Canadian arts institutions and is a major benefactor to the following: the National Ballet of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canadian Opera Company, the Israel Museum, the Toronto Symphony and the Toronto International Film Festival. Sandra Rotman founded the Louis Applebaum Visitorship in Film Composition at the University Of Toronto School Of Music. Both Sandra and Joseph Rotman helped found the Elinor and Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theater, an annual prize of $100,000 which honours a director, playwright or designer who advances Canadian theater.
Sandra Rotman attended Toronto Teachers College graduating in 1958. In 1960-61 she studied Fine Arts at Barnard College in New York. She continued her studies at the University of Toronto receiving her BA in 1975.
In 2006, Sandra Rotman was created a member of the Order of Ontario, and in 2009 she was awarded an honorary LL.D. by the University of Toronto.
In advance of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, Sandra and Joseph Rotman were selected to be torchbearers for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Run in Toronto on December 17, 2009.
The Rotmans received the Outstanding Philanthropists Award from The Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2009.
In 2010, Sandra and Joseph received the Beth Sholom Brotherhood Humanitarian Award.
In 2013, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada "for her leadership in support of health care and the arts, notably as a driver of initiatives in global and mental health".