Durham College alumni announce $125,000 donation to support college students

Gift will create five annual awards for Business students

November 16, 2007

OSHAWA, Ont. – Durham College alumni Jeffrey and Julia Boyce visited their alma mater today to announce a $500,000 donation that will support students at the college and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) for years to come and provide the latest in state-of-the-art alternative energy laboratory equipment.

The Boyces, who graduated in 1980 from the General Business-Marketing program, made the announcement at the schools’ Oshawa, Ontario campus, detailing a generous gift that will be divided into three areas that reflect their commitment to Durham College and UOIT and developing engineering talent in emerging energy technologies: Durham College student awards; UOIT student awards; and equipment for UOIT’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

“Julia and I have always had a strong commitment to supporting community, and there is no better way of showing that commitment than through supporting your alma mater,” said Boyce, who was honoured in 2006 with a Durham College Alumnus of Distinction Award and an Ontario Premier’s Award, which recognizes excellence amongst the province’s college graduates. “Durham College and UOIT’s programs have provided an avenue that allows us the opportunity to support both institutions, as well as developing areas which we are passionate about, the energy business and the environment. We are very pleased to be involved in this new endeavour and wish the institutions, the lab and the students involved great success now and in the future.”

A $125,000 donation to Durham College will establish the Jeffrey and Julia Boyce Endowment Fund which will provide five annual awards of $2,000 to second- and third-year Durham College business students with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and in financial need. The donation qualifies for the provincial government’s Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS) matching program, creating a permanent endowment of $250,000.

“On behalf of Durham College, I would like to thank Jeffrey and Julia Boyce for this remarkable gift, the single largest gift ever from Durham College graduates,” said Leah Myers, president of Durham College. “It is a great honour to be recognized by such outstanding alumni who are setting a wonderful example for our alumni and students. The Boyces generous donation will deliver more opportunities for Durham College students to pursue our high-quality programs, which deliver the skills needed to pursue rewarding and challenging careers and to make a difference in their communities, much like the Boyces have in their career pursuits.”

To support his keen business interest in the energy sector, Boyce, who is president, chief executive officer and director of Calgary-based Sure Energy Inc., has also committed $125,000 to establish the Jeffrey S. Boyce Engineering Award at UOIT. The fund will provide an annual $15,000 graduate award or three annual $5,000 undergraduate awards to students enrolled in energy-related programs. With matching OTSS funds from the provincial government, the total endowment is valued at $375,000.

In addition, Boyce recognizes the need for innovative research in energy production and conservation. To support this, the Boyces are directing $250,000 toward the purchase of laboratory teaching equipment including a solar cell power demonstration unit, a thermal radiation unit and a hydrogen fuel cell station for the newly named Boyce Alternative Energy Systems Laboratory.

“It is with great pleasure that I thank the Boyces for their generous commitment to the students of UOIT,” said Dr. Ronald Bordessa, president of UOIT. “This gift will assist our students financially and provide an increased opportunity for students to work alongside our world-class professors, gaining hands-on experience that will enable them to contribute to new solutions for the energy sector. UOIT is recognized as a national leader in the use of technology in the classroom and this newly equipped lab will ensure our students have access to the most state-of-the-art tools required to excel in their desired field upon graduation.”

Jeffrey Boyce, a member of the Oshawa and Alberta Sports Halls of Fame, was recruited to the Dome Petroleum fastball team due to his pitching talents. He began his career as an oil scout for Dome Petroleum, which proved to be a stepping stone to spectacular career success. Along with Sure Energy, Boyce is a director of three other energy companies, two of which are traded on TSX exchanges; is the co-founder and former president and CEO of Vermilion Resources Ltd. (converted to Vermilion Energy Trust in 2003), a $2.4-billion international oil and gas energy trust; and served as the president, chief executive officer and director of Sound Energy Trust and Pedco Energy. Boyce is also a staunch supporter of community involvement and serves on the Significant Gifts Committee of the United Way of Calgary and Area.

Julia Boyce’s philanthropic work includes involvement with the grants committee for the Calgary Foundation, an organization that since 1955 has supported charities of all sizes working in the arts, community development, education, health, human services and recreation.


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 full-time market-driven programs and hundreds of part-time and continuing education courses, the college has provided students with access to exceptional teachers with real-world experience for 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.

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 a diverse array of challenging undergraduate and graduate degree programs through its faculties of Business and Information Technology; Criminology, Justice and Policy Studies; Education; Engineering and Applied Science; Health Sciences; and Science, and its School of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science. 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.

For more information, contact:
Melissa Levy
Communications and Marketing
905.721.2000 ext. 2513


Disclaimer: The contact information provided in archived news releases was current at the release date. For current information please contact Communications, Marketing and External Relations.