A Lifelong Relationship

Connie Swenson

As both a member and an employee, Connie Swenson has always felt a strong sense of connection to the Royal Ontario Museum. A native of Iowa by way of Chicago, she moved to Toronto with her family in 2008, after a brief sojourn in Alberta–and the ROM quickly became a big part of their lives.

“As a family, we’ve spent so much time at the Museum over the years,” says Connie. “It’s the perfect place to find intellectual stimulation for my husband and me as well as discovery and wonder for our daughter.”

Museums are a lifelong love for Connie so when she was offered the chance to join the ROM Governors team, she was thrilled. “I’ve always felt it is a privilege to work at organizations that I’m truly passionate about. The ROM was like a dream come true, the perfect opportunity to combine personal interests with my professional background and skills as a prospect researcher.”

Connie joined the philanthropy team in 2012. In her role as Associate Vice President of Philanthropic Research, she was critical to building the philanthropic base that has fuelled the ROM’s transformation into a 21st century museum. At the same time, she enjoyed the rare perspective of seeing the Museum from the inside out. “I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the ROM as few people have, whether it’s exhibition previews, hearing about the latest research directly from curators, looking inside the vaults or discovering objects that have never before been publicly displayed.”

Always willing to lend a hand, she also assisted at numerous Currelly Legacy Society (CLS) events over the years, special occasions to meet donors and to hear the inspiring stories behind their legacy commitments, while also learning about the benefits of Tax and Estate Planning.

After 10 years in the Museum, Connie recently accepted a career opportunity she could not pass up. It was one of the hardest decisions she had ever made, “almost like leaving home for the first time,” she says. “The ROM has been such an important part of my life, and I didn’t want that to end, which is why I joined the Currelly Legacy Society–to stay connected while contributing to the future of the museum.”

Named for the ROM’s founding director, Dr. Charles Currelly, the CLS is a dedicated community of donors who have made a gift commitment to the Museum. In her case, Connie has named the ROM a beneficiary of her life insurance policy which will support research and programming in Ancient Cultures and Civilizations, in honor of her husband, an archaeologist.

“As a ROM Governors staff member, Connie consistently set a high bar among her colleagues in her passion and dedication to the Museum” says Susan Horvath, President and CEO of ROM Governors. “Her gift intention is yet another instance of her leading by example and further adds to her incredible legacy of supporting our vital work.”

Through her generous gift, Connie will help secure the ROM’s future as a vital hub of art, culture and nature, while also establishing an ongoing, rewarding relationship with the Museum that will continue throughout her lifetime. As she says: “I like to grow old with things and what better place to do that than a museum?”

Gifts of life insurance policies are one of the easiest and most effective ways to create a legacy at the ROM, while paying tribute or honouring the memory of a loved one. To learn how you can support the Museum with a planned gift, please contact Janice Correa at janicec@rom.on.ca.