Hundreds attend Ryerson’s celebration of the life and accomplishments of Mary Black

Mary Black.
Mary was the force behind the creation of GCMs new home, The Heidelberg Centre.

With the theme of “The House that Mary Built,” Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM) organized a very special evening Thursday, October 10th from 7 pm to 9 pm at The Heidelberg Centre in downtown Toronto to celebrate Mary Black’s life and numerous accomplishments.

Mary Elizabeth Black of Big Cedar Estates in Oro Medonte, Ontario, printing industry veteran and owner of Mary Black Recruiting, lost her battle with cancer on Friday, July 5, 2019 after spending her last moments with her family.

In 1996, she became Professor and Chair of Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management where she developed management trainees for the printing and communications industry. During her 10 years at Ryerson, she was the force behind the creation of GCM’s new home, The Heidelberg Centre, which made the school a learning and focal point for the printing industry. After completing her tenure at Ryerson, Mary knew she had more to give and became a leading recruiter for the printing industry, which was a natural step due to the close relationships she had with her past students and the industry overall.

Mary’s daughter Heather Black talked about her very special moments with her mother.
Event organizer Taras Karpiuk.

Guest speakers and special guests included: Mary’s daughter Heather Black; GCM Chair Jason Lisi; Mohamed Lachemi, current President of Ryerson; Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Design, Charles Falzon; Claude Lajeunesse, former Ryerson President when Mary was Chair; former Advisory Council member Robert Cockerill; Richard Armstrong, former President of Heidelberg Canada when the GCM building was constructed; and dozens of alumni, GCM faculty members and industry guests.

Each and every speaker praised Mary for her contributions and added some lighter moments that they shared with this industry icon. As a lasting and memorable tribute to Mary, the new Mary Black Boardroom was unveiled.

Special thanks to Taras Karpiuk, Departmental Assistant at Ryerson’s School of Graphic Communications Management, for organizing this wonderful event and spending hours upon hours contacting former students and industry members. Additional congratulations and appreciation go out to to his hard-working staff of volunteers who teamed up to make this evening such an inspiring success.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.