Alumni support sparks young minds' curiosity in the sciences

Earle Nestmann (MSc ’71, PhD ’74) knows first-hand the importance of discovery. Inspired by his experience exploring the challenges and joys of research, which helped to change, shape and direct the course of his life, the York University alumnus recently provided a legacy gift in support of the Sci-X: Science Explorations Summer Camps.

“It’s a gift that keeps on giving,” says Nestmann, a member of York’s Board of Governors. “It contributes to the education of new generations of students who can make a difference in the world.”

For four years, Nestmann, a recognized authority in toxicology, has donated publicly traded stocks and securities to the explorations camps run by the Science Engagement Office at York’s Faculty of Science. Designed for students in grades 3–8, the camps aim to inspire young kids to pursue science, technology, engineering or mathematics studies. The discovery and inquiry-based program has benefited from donors such as Nestmann because 100 per cent of their donations go toward providing bursaries for kids from low-income families. Since the camps began in 2006 with 55 students, participation has increased to more than 600 in 2016.

”I give to York because it's a gift that keeps on giving.”
— Earle Nestmann

Currently president of his own company, Health Science Consultants, Nestmann has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as consultant, principal and executive for a multinational consulting firm, pesticide regulatory manager for a multinational company, research scientist at Health Canada, and assistant professor at York. His latest contribution to the University follows a generous $50,000 gift he made in 2008 that was matched by the provincial government to create the Nestmann Scholarship, which supports graduate biology students.

“Donating stock is no strain on my budget. The money is already invested and not part of my cash flow,” he says. “More importantly, the funds help to provide young students with the opportunity to explore science.”

A camp participant wrote to the donors: “Thank you for showing me how science can be important for me and for everybody in our lives. The camp got me thinking about a future in science.”

DID YOU KNOW? A donation of appreciated stocks, securities, bonds or mutual fund shares is the most tax-efficient way to give to York University because you will not pay tax on the capital gain. Learn more at