Dec. 4, 2023Print | PDF
Wilfrid Laurier University mourns the passing of Steven Kun, a dedicated supporter of Laurier’s Brantford campus who made a significant and lasting difference working alongside Laurier to renew the city’s downtown core. Kun passed away on Nov. 23, 2023 in his 97th year.
Kun and his wife, Helen, supported the growth and flourishing of Laurier’s Brantford campus. Their support for the Heritage Campaign for Laurier Brantford was recognized by the naming of the Steven and Helen Kun Performance Theatre, and their $2-million donation toward the Laurier Brantford YMCA capital campaign was recognized by the naming of the Kun Family Atrium in the Laurier Brantford YMCA’s main entrance. In 2017, Laurier recognized their giving with the Laurier Society Philanthropy Award.
“Steven and Helen’s support for initiatives like the Research and Academic Centre and the Laurier Brantford YMCA had a transformative impact on the student experience and the city’s core,” says Beth Gurney, interim senior executive officer of Laurier’s Brantford campus. “Their generous investment in Laurier leaves a legacy that will serve students and the broader community for many years to come. Laurier was fortunate to call Steve Kun a friend. The university community extends its deepest sympathies to the Kun family.”
Born in Romania, Kun’s family immigrated to Canada when he was three years old, arriving first in Montreal and later settling in Brantford, a community he would come to deeply love and support. He was married to Helen in 1947 and they had four children.
Kun worked for Massey Ferguson before starting his own company, Steven’s Aluminum Sales, and also worked in building, renovations and real estate. He was a founding member of the Brantford Hungarian Mutual Benefit Society and was active in sponsoring refugees in the Brantford area, providing financial, housing and renovation support. Through Kun’s advocacy and support, the Brant Hungarian Foundation made a $100,000 donation to Laurier in 2009 to establish the Brant Hungarian Foundation entrance awards and the Brant Hungarian Foundation in-course awards.
“Philanthropy at the level of the Kun family’s giving can transform a community,” says Jason Coolman, vice-president, Advancement and External Relations at Laurier. “Building on roots in the Brantford community, Steven and Helen changed many lives for the better – both those of Laurier students and the citizens who welcomed Laurier into their community. We are truly grateful for Steven’s legacy.”