Durham College names Whitby campus’s main building in honour of Don Lovisa

Durham College (DC) President Don Lovisa’s remarkable contributions and impact were formally recognized on Wednesday with the naming of DC’s Whitby campus’s main building: the Don Lovisa Building. The naming was announced during two, celebratory farewell events, held in honour of the award-winning President who is stepping down from his role effective February 29, and the impressive accomplishments made throughout his 16-year presidency.

“The honour of the Don Lovisa Building is just beyond words. To be counted and included with the Gordon Willey Building and Polonsky Commons is an honour and just so humbling,” said Lovisa. “It’s beyond belief.”

Nearly 500 guests visited the Whitby campus to celebrate and acknowledge the profound impact Lovisa has had on both DC and Durham Region. Both farewell celebrations featured live music, delicious food prepared by Bistro ’67, and formal speaking programs, including guest speakers who each touched upon Lovisa’s embodiment of the college’s four strategic pillars: our students, our people, our work, and our community.

Dale Burt, a Professor and Program Coordinator from the Faculty of Social and Community Services at DC, captured Lovisa’s supportive and inclusive personality in her remarks at the event. “Don is a connector. He naturally forms bonds with people, creates a sense of community, belonging, and opportunity for all those around him,” she said. “He has left a lasting impression on everyone at Durham College and in our community.”

Since 2008, DC has seen remarkable growth under Lovisa’s leadership, with significant increases in enrolment and the introduction of new programs tailored to community and industry needs, including six new honours bachelor’s degrees. His passion and dedication have also led to over $300 million in capital investments, enhancing campus infrastructure with a number of new buildings and projects like the Student Services Building and the Centre for Collaborative Education, and expansions at the Whitby Campus, such as the Ontario Power Generation Centre for Skilled Trades and Technology, supporting DC’s commitment to innovation and industry relevance.

“President Lovisa’s leadership has been instrumental in growing the college’s impact, establishing it as a beacon of innovation and thought leadership,” said Gail Johnson Morris, Chair of DC’s Board of Governors. “Because of his dedication and tireless efforts, we have flourished, pushed the limits, and created a college community that is positively impacting the world around us.”

Lovisa reflected on his remarkable career, sharing a profound sense of pride and his deepest gratitude for DC’s outstanding faculty, dedicated staff, passionate students and invaluable broader community.

“It is a collective effort, the spirit of collaboration, that has defined our success as a college and community and I’m very proud to have been part of a community that understands the power of working together towards a common goal,” said Lovisa. “It has been an honour and a joy to be part of such an exceptional institution. Durham College will always hold a special place in my heart, and I have complete confidence that under the capable hands of our new President, Dr. Elaine Popp, and the exceptional individuals that make up this community, the institution will continue to flourish and achieve even greater heights in the future.”