Charlton Kelly (Morning MBA ’25) has a dream to one day create his own real estate private equity firm, focused on providing affordable housing options for marginalized groups in the Greater Toronto Area.
Charlton Kelly (Morning MBA ’25)
“Toronto is the fastest growing city in North America and there are underrepresented factions of the population who equally deserve to enjoy and benefit from the city’s growth,” he says.
“I’m eager to learn how to build a successful business and gain the tools required to make a difference and leave my mark on the City of Toronto.”
Kelly says he’s now one step closer to his goal thanks to the generosity of donors and supporters at the Rotman School of Management. Currently working in commercial real estate as an investment analyst at Takol Real Estate Inc., Kelly started the Morning MBA program this fall as the first recipient of the Morning and Evening MBA Black Students Advancement Scholarship.
The scholarship — created by recent alumni who were Morning MBA students at the time — is one of four new endowed scholarships made possible by donors at the inaugural Rotman Giving Day in 2021, a 24-hour fundraising event dedicated to supporting current and future students and researchers across the School.
Last year, the community donated $386,698 to support students and experiential learning opportunities across Rotman's programs.
“In 2020, during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, my classmates and I realized our program didn’t have a lot of representation from the Black community,” says Jathiban Panchalingam, who graduated from the Morning MBA program in June 2022.
“We wanted to help change that.”
After months of work with the advancement team, Panchalingam and his classmate Bilal Habib (Morning MBA ’22) spearheaded the launch of the scholarship alongside the Students Against Anti-Black Racism (SABR) club at Rotman. By the end of last year’s Giving Day, the Rotman community had donated more than $53,000 to the scholarship, with SABR leading efforts this year to enhance the scholarship through Rotman Giving Day.
“This scholarship means a lot to me, and I’m excited to seize this opportunity to attend Rotman and take as much knowledge and experience from this program as I can,” says Kelly, whose workplace mentors and Rotman MBA alumni Daniel Kolber and Takashi Yamashita encouraged him to pursue an MBA of his own.
“I believe a Rotman MBA will provide me with the business acumen necessary to navigate downturns in the real estate and economic market cycles while also providing me with a more robust understanding of the inner workings of a company,” says Kelly.
“I’ve only just started, but it’s amazing to see such a diverse group of ambitious professionals come together for this program.”
In addition to the Black Students Advancement Scholarship, the gifts from last year’s Rotman Giving Day also contributed to the creation of the Global Advancement Board Scholarship, Reunite RSM Scholarship and Reunite Rotman Commerce Scholarship.
The donations also funded travel support for 60 MBA students for global practicums, consulting projects and study tours. Also funded were travel support for global practicums and consulting projects for 10 students in the Master of Management Analytics and Master of Financial Risk Management programs.
“This was made possible not just by our alumni, friends, students and faculty, but also by the many staff members who reaffirmed their commitment to our mission and chose to support our students and researchers,” says Linda Dudek, executive director, advancement at the Rotman School.
“I’m truly honoured to have been one of the first recipients of this award and I’m grateful to each and every person who contributed to my education and my future,” says Kelly.
Written by Jessie Park | More Student Stories »