2007 Legacy Gala raises $412,000 to support bursaries and endowments for Durham College students

October 2, 2007

OSHAWA, Ont. – Thanks to the generous contributions of sponsors, auction donors and other guests at the 2007 Legacy Gala in support of Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), hundreds of students will now be able to make their post-secondary dreams a reality.

The sixth annual gala, held September 28 at Tosca Banquet Hall, raised more than $412,000 for student bursaries and scholarship endowments, which includes $206,000 in matching funds through the provincial government’s Ontario Trust for Student Support.

“On behalf of the students of UOIT, I would like to express my heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in contributing to the resounding success of the 2007 Legacy Gala,” said Dr. Ronald Bordessa, president of UOIT. “Ongoing support for this event ensures that financial barriers to a post-secondary education will continue to be broken down. It ensures many more men and women will be able to access UOIT’s leading-edge learning environment and pursue innovative programs that will prepare them for rewarding careers.”

The Marrakech-themed event, which transported guests to the exotic and beautiful ‘Rose City’ in Morocco, was attended by hundreds of guests, including business and corporate leaders, politicians and other community leaders, staff and administration from both schools and students. Guests were treated to authentic Moroccan cuisine, belly dancing, fire-eating, sword-swallowing and acrobats. More than 40 local businesses and sponsors donated auction items to the event.

This year’s Gala was co-chaired by Dr. Peter and Mrs. Marianne Zakarow, longtime community leaders and ongoing supporters of Durham College and UOIT. Dr. Zakarow is current chair of the Durham College Foundation, former chair of the college Board of Governors and was an integral force behind the creation of UOIT. As part of their continuing commitment, the Zakarows donated $500,000 for the creation of UOIT’s largest lecture hall, the Dr. Peter Zakarow Auditorium.

“My wife and I are very proud to serve as honorary co-chairs because we share a deep-rooted connection to the values of Durham College and UOIT,” said Dr. Zakarow. “Helping make higher education a reality for more young people is very exciting and rewarding.”

Sponsors of this year’s gala included the Albis family, owners of Tosca, Mondo Ristorante and Avanti Trattoria; the Caribbean Event; Ontario Power Generation; the Patchett family; and the Pardy family, which created a scholarship in memory of their husband and father, Roger Pardy, for students pursuing a career in police services. Additional sponsors included Metroland, the Durham Region Home Builders’ Association, BMO Financial Group, Durham College Alumni Association, the Dwayne Moses Memorial Walk and Run, EllisDon, RBC Financial Group, Durham Regional Police Services Board and Rogers.

“Durham College would like to thank everyone for joining us to celebrate the treasured partnerships between the college and donors, businesses and community partners,” said Leah Myers, president of Durham College. “Once again, your contributions have made this event a tremendous success and will make a real difference, helping our students gain the market-ready skills needed to attain great careers and make a difference in the world.”

The Legacy Gala is held each September to raise funds for students attending UOIT and Durham College. It is designed to relieve students’ financial burden and help them pursue their post-secondary educational goals.


About UOIT
As an innovative university, UOIT delivers a leading-edge learning environment that uniquely combines academic knowledge, research opportunities, hands-on skills and a vibrant student life. UOIT’s 5,000 students are taught by professors who are experts in their fields from around the world. As Ontario’s first laptop-based university, the university offers more than 30 challenging undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of Business and Information Technology, Criminology, Justice and Policy Studies, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Sciences. UOIT’s commitment to research excellence has resulted in millions of dollars in grants and awards, including five Canada Research Chairs. To find out more, visit www.uoit.ca or call 905.721.8668.

About Durham College
Durham College is the premier college in Canada for career-focused students who will succeed in a challenging, supporting and inclusive learning environment. Offering approximately 80 different full-time market-driven programs and hundreds of continuing education and part-time programs, the college has provided students with access to exceptional teachers with real-world experience for close to 40 years. With a graduate employment rate of over 90 per cent and employer satisfaction rate of close to 95 per cent, Durham College gives students everything they need to obtain great careers and make a difference in the world. The college has more than 6,100 full-time students, thousands of part-time students and almost 1,600 apprentices. For more information, visit www.durhamcollege.ca or call 905.721.2000.

Media contact:
Michelle Good
Communications and Marketing
905.721.2000 ext. 2197


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