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Durham College celebrates student achievement and donor generosity

On January 30, Durham College (DC) recognized both academic achievement and community generosity during the college’s annual Student and Donor Recognition Evening.

The event celebrated the accomplishments of DC’s scholarship and bursary award recipients and gave DC the opportunity to thank the countless individuals, organizations and corporate donors who choose to support students and post-secondary learning. It also gave donors the opportunity to meet with the students who benefit from their generosity.

“The support of our donors means that our students can continue to access first-class post-secondary education, which in turn will enable them to gain the skills and knowledge they need to move confidently from college to a successful career”, said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “Whether it’s sponsoring a bursary so a student can pursue their education without the burden of financial limitations, or funding a scholarship, which celebrates a student’s hard work and academic success, we are very grateful for the support of our community.”

During the evening Lovisa paid special tribute to two long-standing donors. The college has enjoyed a decade-long partnership with Ontario Power Generation. Over that period, OPG has invested more than $5-million to support student success, scholarships and bursaries, as well as capital expenditures, new program development and equipment.

In addition, the Roger Anderson Charity Classic, an annual fundraising golf tournament celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, was also recognized for being a long-time donor to DC. Funds raised at the event provide assistance to students across Durham Region, including those attending DC. Mr. Anderson was joined by his two sons Warren and Ryan, who also enjoyed the opportunity to meet student recipients of the bursary.

Several new donors were also recognized during the ceremony including:

  • Bowmanville Lions Club – Russell Oke Award
  • David Worsley Bursary
  • Debbie Low Premier’s Award Bursary
  • Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries
  • Kent and Douglas Farndale Culinary Award

The start of something amazing: Durham College kicks off 50th anniversary year

With 2017 marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of Durham College (DC), one of the first colleges established under the Ontario college system, DC today announced ‘The Start of Something Amazing’, a year-long celebration of the college’s past and future.

“DC has come a long way since we first opened our doors in 1967 to 205 students learning in 16 portable classrooms,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “For five decades we have been committed to meeting the needs of students, business and industry and we can’t wait to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished together, in Durham Region and beyond, while looking ahead to what we will achieve next.”

To celebrate, the college will be weaving anniversary festivities into more than 50 events and activities over the course of the year. This includes the public 50th anniversary kick-off taking place at DC’s annual alumni and employee night at the Oshawa Generals game on Friday, January 13; the college’s annual spring and fall open house events being held on Saturday, March 25 and Saturday, November 18; and the third annual Harvest Dinner to be held at the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food on Thursday, September 21.

In addition, the college will host two signature 50th anniversary events in 2017. This includes a two-day homecoming celebration on Friday, September 8 and Saturday, September 9, and a skating party scheduled for December 2017 to commemorate the end of the college’s 50th celebrations.

“Staying connected to our DC family members and the broader community is always top of mind for Durham College, but our 50th anniversary year provides a natural opportunity to take those connections to the next level,” said Lovisa. “We are encouraging everyone – prospective, current and future students; employees; retirees; alumni; business and industry partners; and community groups – to visit the college’s 50th anniversary website and learn how they can join the celebration by sharing memories, attending events and spreading the word that DC is celebrating the start of something amazing!”

While the campaign theme is a nod to the amazing impact that more than 76,000 alumni have made in our community, it also speaks to the college’s vision for the future. This includes the construction of the new Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE) at the Oshawa campus, a legacy project tied to the 50th anniversary. A crossroad of education, services, supports and community, the CFCE will serve as a unique academic and cultural access point for students that brings together local, Indigenous and global community groups along with members of key business sectors while also providing a new home for several of DC’s most innovative programs.

“As we prepare for our sixth decade, Durham College remains committed to staying at the forefront of ‘what’s next’ for industry, business, culture and society , all in service of our students – past, present and future – which is exactly what the CFCE will embody,” said Lovisa.

As one of the first colleges established under the Ontario college system, DC is also sharing its 50th anniversary year with the province’s 23 other colleges of applied arts and technology. Colleges Ontario has a dedicated 50th anniversary website where more information on province-wide celebrations can be found.

For more information on DC’s 50th celebrations, including a complete list of upcoming events, facts, photos, videos and more, visit the college’s 50th anniversary website.


Durham College breaks ground for its new Centre for Collaborative Education

Members of the Durham College (DC) community, including retirees, alumni, students, employees, elected officials, and industry and community partners, gathered on November 25 to celebrate the official groundbreaking for DC’s new Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE).

The event marked the start of a new chapter at DC while also honouring its past. The CFCE, a legacy project tied to DC’s 50th anniversary in 2017, will replace the aging Simcoe building, which has long been at the heart of the college’s Oshawa campus.

“When I reflect on how our small community college has evolved over the past 50 years into a leading post-secondary institution serving communities locally, nationally and even worldwide, I can’t help but wonder what the next 50 years will bring,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC.

Lovisa added that while there are many exciting changes ahead for DC, one thing will remain constant – the college will always maintain its commitment to ensuring the student experience comes first.

“Staying true to our mission will be vital to ensuring our students achieve success, and together we can elevate a thriving Durham community for the prosperity of future generations,” he said.

The groundbreaking commenced with a blessing offered by Kim Wheatley, an Anishinaabe Traditional Grandmother, to honour the territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation on which the college sits and was followed by hot beverages for all and a toast from Lovisa to DC’s past, present and future.

The event also included a piece of the Simcoe building being removed that will be incorporated into the new CFCE, a symbolic integration of the old with the new.

A crossroad of education, services, supports and community, the CFCE will serve as a unique academic and cultural access point for students that brings together local, Indigenous and global community groups along with members of key business sectors.

DC thanks everyone who was able to attend the CFCE ground breaking celebration and who have contributed to the college over the past 50 years. Together we are building something amazing.


Durham College names the Centre for Food after W. Galen Weston

Durham College (DC) announced today that it has named the Centre for Food (CFF) at the Whitby campus after Mr. W. Galen Weston in recognition of a $1-million grant being made to the college by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation (the Foundation). One of Canada’s most prominent business executives, Mr. W. Galen Weston is a leader in food innovation who has been at the forefront of change in the food retailing and baking industries for more than five decades. From bagging groceries in the supermarket to Executive Chairman of George Weston Limited, he has remained committed to the continued advancement of the food industry through teaching and learning.

Focused on the field-to-fork concept, the CFF opened to students in September 2013. Home to a range of complementary programs, the Centre boasts numerous sustainable features and extensive grounds including an apple orchard, agricultural planting fields and a ramped garden feature with a pollinator garden and two-acre arboretum, providing a teaching and learning environment for students, the local agri-food industry, community organizations and the general public. In addition, the grounds include an unheated hoop house, gardens and greenhouses that support applied learning and research while growing produce for use in the Centre’s kitchens and laboratories. The CFF also features Bistro ’67, a full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant, and Pantry, a unique retail store for student-created goods, which are both open to the public. 

“Durham College is honoured to receive this significant gift from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “On behalf of the college, in particular the hundreds of students studying in our CFF programs, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the W. Garfield Weston Foundation for its generosity. Mr. W. Galen Weston is one of Canada’s most accomplished businessmen and philanthropists and well renowned for his leadership in the food processing and distribution industries. The Weston family has long supported the field-to-fork concept and we are extremely proud to have his name linked permanently to the CFF.”

The second significant contribution made by the Foundation in the last two years, this gift is being used to establish $100,000 worth of scholarships and bursaries for students studying in a two-year field-to-fork program; develop new research and testing programs related to food product development and food processing studies; and to purchase equipment to support new research programs related to agriculture and agri-food products.

“I have spent my entire life working in the food business and have seen it evolve dramatically since my younger days working in the bakery with my father. I am proud to be supporting the innovative programs offered in the Centre for Food,” said W. Galen Weston. “These young people are the future leaders of our industry.”

“Ontario’s food and beverage manufacturing sector is the third largest in North America with manufacturing revenues of more than $35 billion and the agri-food industry is the leader for goods production in Durham Region,” added Lovisa. “This gift will enable DC to further its commitment to bring the field-to-fork philosophy to life, harness the vibrant relationships in our region’s food industry, and provide a lasting legacy that will benefit our students and the region now and in the years ahead.”


Participants and sponsors go the #distanceforDC at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

On Sunday, October 16 more than 26,000 people took part in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon including 28 participants from Durham College (DC). Three teams of DC walkers and runners comprised of employees, students and alumni, participated in the marathon, half-marathon and 5 km events raising over $22,000 for the construction of the new Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE) at the Oshawa campus.

“Thank you to our amazing college community, along with our alumni and valued community members for supporting our walkers and runners and helping us to surpass our original fundraising goal of $20,000,” said Linda Marco, associate vice-president, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. “Everyone who participated in Run for DC at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in support of the new Centre for Collaborative Education, is contributing to a new modern learning space where students, employees and the broader community can work together in ways that transcend traditional concepts of education.”

A legacy project tied to the college’s 50th anniversary in 2017, the CFCE will replace the aging Simcoe building, which was built at the Oshawa campus in 1969. It will provide inspiring space for students, employees and the broader community to access a wide variety of programs and services, including ones focused on providing students with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in post-secondary studies and health sciences programs. It will house the Aboriginal Student Centre and the Entrepreneurship Centre, and special, flexible space that will enable faculty, students and the broader community to use technology in creative ways to gain unprecedented access to students, educators, thought leaders, subject matter experts and other visionaries from more than 40 countries around the world.

DC’s three Run for DC teams included:

  • Durham College IS Awesome with team members Nicole Mastnak (team captain); Sue Hawkins; Stephanie Ball; Karen Founk, Susan Smith; Tanya Roberts; Dave Smith; Ramon Morales; Claire Mastnak; Leilani Morales and Kevin Griffin.
  • Team Durham College with team members Jennifer Clark (team captain); Sally Hillis; Judeline Innocent; Meri Kim Oliver; Elaine Popp; Don Lovisa; Marianne Marando; Elaine Garnett; Linda Marco; Catherine Hardman; Debby Allbon; Michelle Forrest; Dan and Simon Blomme; Sandra Mairs; Maureen Calhoun; Joanne Paterson; Dennis Donnelly and Hannah Elkington.
  • Team DC Whitby with team members Mary Pearce (team captain); Pam Stoneham and Falon Hurlburt.

In support of the event and to raise awareness on campus, team Durham College IS Awesome held Run for DC Day on October 12 at the college’s Oshawa campus. Fundraising activities included a boot drive, a combined effort of students (primarily in the Firefighter program) and employees; a bake sale; motivational poster signing and live entertainment provided by students. In total the students and employees’ efforts raised over $900.

Thank you and congratulations to everyone who participated and supported the event.


DC receives $13 million in federal funding for new CFCE

Durham College (DC) announced today that it has received $13 million in funding from the federal government through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) toward the construction of the new Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE) at the college’s Oshawa campus. The announcement was made by Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Liberal MP for Whitby, on behalf of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada at an event held at the college this morning.

The $13 million commitment, combined with the $22 million in funding received from the provincial government toward the building in April 2016, brings the total amount being invested in the CFCE to $35 million, the largest single-project investment by government in the college’s history.

With a total build cost of $40 million, the CFCE will replace the college’s aging Simcoe building, which was originally built as a temporary structure and opened in 1969. The new multi-level, 75,000-square-foot-facility, a legacy project tied to DC’s 50th anniversary in 2017, will serve as an educational access point for students while bringing together local, Indigenous and global community groups and members of key business sectors. The CFCE will be located to the east of the current building, where it will connect directly to the Student Services building, and is being designed to reflect and address the needs of both students and the community, including the desire for more collaborative learning and social spaces.

“On behalf of everyone at Durham College, I extend my sincere thanks to the federal government for this significant investment in our unique vision and commitment to creating a facility that will expand local programming, further connect Indigenous communities to post-secondary education and drive entrepreneurship and internationalization via Global, Open and Collaborative spaces that connect the college to more than 50 academic institutions around the world,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “Providing us with the opportunity to expand into new programs areas that offer experiential learning opportunities designed to match the labour needs of industry, the CFCE is a legacy building for the next 50 years that truly reflects Durham College’s dedication to meeting the demands of students, employers and Ontario’s changing economy.”

Designed to reflect DC’s commitment to working with local business and community partners to create a new facility where students, employees and the broader community can work together in ways that transcend the traditional concepts of education, the CFCE will house the following:

  • The School-College-Work Initiative and the affiliated Centre for Success program, a partnership between DC and the Durham District, Kawartha Pine Ridge District, Durham Catholic District, Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District, and Trillium Lakelands District school boards that assists in-risk students by helping them find their way to college.
  • The Aboriginal and Student Diversity Centres.
  • Entrepreneurial, Innovation and Creative spaces including the Spark Centre, which will expand applied research opportunities for students, faculty and small-and medium-sized businesses.
  • Global, Open and Collaborative spaces that will enable faculty, students and the broader community to use technology in creative ways to gain unprecedented access to students, educators, thought leaders, subject matter experts and other visionaries from more than 40 countries around the world.
  • Health science facilities including state-of-the art classrooms and labs; a spa focused on massage therapy, cosmetology and aesthetics; and programming centred around occupational therapy and physical therapy.
  • Foundation programs designed to prepare students for the continuation of post-secondary education at college or university.
  • Significant collaborative learning and social spaces for our students, faculty and community.

“These infrastructure investments will help create high-quality, well-paying jobs that can help the middle class grow and prosper today, while also delivering sustained economic growth in the Durham Region for years to come”, said MP Caesar-Chavannes. “Through the Strategic Investment Fund, we are strengthening the foundation for building Canada into a global centre for innovation.”

Since announcing plans to replace the aging Simcoe building in April, DC has made steady progress on plans for the CFCE. The construction and architecture tenders have been awarded and initial work is expected to begin this fall with construction to be completed in 2018. A comprehensive design consultation process involving the builder and architects is now underway with each of the services, programs and departments that will be moving into the CFCE.

“Durham College has long been a vital component of our community,” said Granville Anderson, MPP, Durham. “This significant investment from the provincial and federal governments, which supports expanded programming and enhances Durham’s state-of-the-art learning environment, provides the renewal necessary to continue that important work.”

The college will soon launch a capital campaign to raise the additional $5 million for the construction of the building in partnership with individuals, corporations, community partners and alumni over a two-year period.