Latest partnership to benefit NC graduates and employees

A message from the Niagara College Foundation and Alumni Relations:

We are pleased to announce a new agreement with TD Insurance Meloche Monnex.

As a trusted partner, the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program is dedicated to helping Niagara College graduates and employees get access to preferred group rates on home and auto insurance coverage.

TD Insurance is the leading direct response insurance group in Canada*, offering quality insurance products for over 65 years. From getting a quote to filing a claim, their knowledgeable advisors will help you find options that are right for you.

To get a TD Insurance Meloche Monnex quote call 1-866-334-0333 or visit tdinsurance.com/niagaracollege.

NC nominates six distinguished grads for prestigious Premier’s Awards

Niagara College is proud to nominate six of its distinguished alumni for prestigious Premier’s Awards. Presented annually as part of the Colleges Ontario Higher Education Summit, the Premier’s Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of six Ontario college graduates in six different categories: Business, Creative Arts and Design, Community Services, Health Sciences, Technology, and Recent Graduate. Niagara College’s 2017 nominees include:
  • Rob Beyer (Business), executive chairman of Villgro Kenya;
  • David McIlvride (Creative Arts and Design), Gemini award-winning director;
  • Rose DiMarco (Community Services), chief superintendent and regional commander of the Central Region Ontario Provincial Police;
  • Derek Christensen (Health), regional educator of mental health and addiction services at Niagara Health;
  • Ben Laurence (Recent Graduate), structural technical designer for aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin; and
  • Blake Merritt (Technology), vice-president of IT infrastructure and cloud computing at Meridian Credit Union.
“There is no sector of our economy or part of our community that isn’t touched by the outstanding contributions of college graduates,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “We’re extremely proud of the accomplishments of our grads, and are pleased to nominate these distinguished Niagara College alumni for provincial recognition.” All nominees will be celebrated, and the six category winners announced, in Toronto on Monday, November 27, as part of the Colleges Ontario Higher Education Summit. For info visit www.co-awards.org/ Since the Premier’s Awards were launched in 1992, winners from Niagara College have included: Royal Canadian Navy Capt. Rebecca Patterson (Nursing, 1987), who won in 2014; David Pratt (Greenhouse Technician, 2007) in 2012; Jerry Howell (Computer Engineering Technology, 1988) in 2011; Jordan Harris (Winery and Viticulture Technician, 2004) in 2008; Heather Kilty (Social Welfare Worker, 1969), in 2003; and Carol Alaimo (Journalism-Print, 1984), in 1995.   Niagara Colleges 2017 Premier’s Awards Nominees Rob Beyer – Business Computer Programmer, 1984 Rob Beyer is a visionary leader who is fully aware of the unique challenges in building enterprises within the East African context. He is executive chairman of Villgro Kenya, an early-stage social enterprise incubator that supports innovative businesses in the healthcare and life sciences sector. His passion is to support aspiring African entrepreneurs in the health and life sciences ecosystem while supporting innovation and innovative approaches that build sustainable livelihoods. He is also a long-time director of Pehucci Children’s Home in Kenya, an orphanage that is home to 90 children and provides education to roughly 600 more. David McIlvride – Creative Arts and Design Broadcasting: Radio, TV and Film, 1978 David McIlvride is a Gemini Award-winning director who has written, directed and produced some of the most respected documentary series on television for broadcasters such as Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel and History Channel. A passionate storyteller, he has traveled the globe in order to tell the stories of people who normally would not have access to a global audience. His most recent documentary, Riverblue, charts the damaging environmental effects of the textile and tanning industries by observing the heavy pollution present in the nearby rivers of high-production manufacturing areas in India, China and Indonesia. Rose DiMarco – Community Services Law and Security Administration, 1985 Rose DiMarco has climbed the ranks in a field that is typically dominated by men. She is chief superintendent and first female regional commander Central Region with the Ontario Provincial Police. She is responsible for 900 uniform members and 270 civilian staff who police more than 80,000 full-time residents and an additional half million seasonal vacationers. She is the executive champion of the OPP Mental Health Strategy ‘Our People, Our Communities,’ co-chair of the Commissioner’s Inclusion Council, mentor in the Ontario Public Service Diversity Champion program and works with and mentors female officers. Derek Christensen – Health Nursing, 1991 Derek Christensen is an accomplished health care professional with 26 years of experience as clinician, manager and educator in mental health and addictions. He is regional educator for Mental Health and Addiction Services at Niagara Health System and is responsible for research, development, implementation and evaluation of staff training and education related to mental health. He is an officer with the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, Canadian Forces Reserve Army and has participated in training exercises throughout Canada and the United States. In 2012, he was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to Canada. Ben Laurence – Recent Graduate Mechanical Engineering Technology, 2013 The sky is definitely not the limit for Ben Laurence. As a structural technical designer for aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company Blue Origin, he designs, analyzes, tests and flies structural components for the New Shepherd spacecraft. New Shepherd is a suborbital manned rocket being developed as a commercial system for suborbital space tourism. It’s the first vehicle in human history to fly to space and return safely to Earth for future use. Flights with test passengers are planned for late 2018, with commercial passenger flights to begin in 2018. Blue Origin is owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. Blake Merritt – Technology Computer Programming, 1985 Blake Merritt is a senior technology leader with more than 28 years experience. He is driven by a strong collaborative approach, analytical mindset and the desire to find value for end users/customers through the most effective use of innovative solutions. He led the team that created the most automated and largest VMWare Private Cloud installation in Canada for Canada’s largest retailer, Canadian Tire Corporation. As vice-president, IT Infrastructure Services and Cloud Computing at Meridian Credit Union, he is accountable for setting strategic direction, implementation, support and operation of the underlying infrastructure and cloud solutions within Meridian’s technical landscape.  

Spirit of giving flourishes in NC Greenhouse with Lincoln Garden Club and Horticultural Society donation

Submitted by Foundation and Alumni Relations:

Thank you to Lincoln Garden Club and Horticultural Society for its continued support.

Lincoln Garden Club and Horticultural Society has been a long-time generous supporter of Niagara College students and the School of Horticulture. Since 2002, the Club has donated annually towards purchasing greenhouse equipment, renovating the design studio, establishing campus gardens, and maintaining the ecological wetlands. In 2010, Lincoln Garden Club established an endowed fund for students in horticulture, greenhouse and Landscape Technician programs. Interest from this fund provides an annual bursary in perpetuity to help students in financial need.

 

 

College names outdoor classroom after long-time supporter

An outdoor learning space has been dedicated to a long-time College supporter: The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation.

Located on the wetlands at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, the site was recently named in honour of the Foundation following its $100,000 donation to the College for equipment earlier this year.

“Education and the environment are pillars for charitable giving for The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation, so we thought it would be fitting to name our ‘living classroom’ in recognition of the Foundation’s strong support for our College,” said Helen Armstrong, development officer, Foundation and Alumni Relations.

Board members of The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation Suzie Bowles and Sue Burch – who is an environmental engineer at Resolute Forest Products – visited the NOTL Campus for the sign reveal on October 13, and spoke to Environmental Technician students gathered for class at the site.

Associate dean of the College’s School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies Al Unwin noted that the outdoor classroom plays an important role for college students, staff and the community.

”We are grateful for The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation’s generous support and are honoured to dedicate this site in their name,” said Unwin. “Since its construction in 1999, our environment students use this classroom for soil and water sampling, species identification and ecosystem restoration. This hands-on experience is what makes Niagara College so unique, and prepares our students for entering the workforce with relevant experience and skills.”

Since 1979, The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation has donated $600,000 to the College. It has supported 112 scholarships/ bursaries for students in environmental programs, several capital campaigns, as well as donations of gifts-in-kind.

The outdoor classroom located at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus has now been named in recognition of a long-time College supporter, The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation. Company board members Suzie Bowles and Sue Burch stand with the new sign.

 

Meet Niagara College’s 2017 Premier’s Awards nominees

The Premier’s Awards for Ontario college graduates celebrate the outstanding contributions and achievements college alumni make to Ontario and throughout the world. They are presented annually in six different categories: Business, Creative Arts and Design, Community Services, Health, Recent Graduate, and Technology. Nominations are submitted from each of Ontario’s 24 community colleges. All nominees will be celebrated, and the six category winners announced, at a gala event in Toronto on Monday Nov. 27, as part of the Colleges Ontario Higher Education Summit. Nominees from Niagara College include:   Rob Beyer – Business Computer Programmer, 1984 Executive chairman, Villgro Kenya
 

Rob Beyer

Rob Beyer is a visionary leader who is fully aware of the unique challenges in building enterprises within the East African context. He is executive chairman of Villgro Kenya, an early-stage social enterprise incubator that supports innovative businesses in the healthcare and life sciences sector. His passion is to support aspiring African entrepreneurs in the health and life sciences ecosystem while supporting innovation and innovative approaches that build sustainable livelihoods. He is also a long-time director of Pehucci Children’s Home in Kenya, an orphanage that is home to 90 children and provides education to roughly 600 more.     David McIlvride – Create Arts and Design Broadcasting: Radio, TV and Film, 1978 Producer/writer/director, Gabriel Films North
 

David McIlvride

David McIlvride is a Gemini Award-winning director who has written, directed and produced some of the most respected documentary series on television for broadcasters such as Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel and History Channel. A passionate storyteller, he has traveled the globe in order to tell the stories of people who normally would not have access to a global audience. His most recent documentary, Riverblue, charts the damaging environmental effects of the textile and tanning industries by observing the heavy pollution present in the nearby rivers of high-production manufacturing areas in India, China and Indonesia.     Rose DiMarco – Community Services Law  and Security Administration, 1985 Chief superintendent, regional commander – Central Region OPP
 

Rose DiMarco

Rose DiMarco has climbed the ranks in a field that is typically dominated by men. She is chief superintendent and first female regional commander Central Region with the Ontario Provincial Police. She is responsible for 900 uniform members and 270 civilian staff who police more than 80,000 full-time residents and an additional half million seasonal vacationers. She is the executive champion of the OPP Mental Health Strategy ‘Our People, Our Communities,’ co-chair of the Commissioner’s Inclusion Council, mentor in the Ontario Public Service Diversity Champion program and works with and mentors female officers.     Derek Christensen – Health Nursing, 1991 Regional educator Mental Health and Addiction Services – Niagara Health
 

Derek Christensen

Derek Christensen is an accomplished health care professional with 26 years of experience as clinician, manager and educator in mental health and addictions. He is regional educator for Mental Health and Addiction Services at Niagara Health System and is responsible for research, development, implementation and evaluation of staff training and education related to mental health. He is an officer with the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, Canadian Forces Reserve Army and has participated in training exercises throughout Canada and the United States. In 2012, he was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to Canada.     Ben Laurence – Recent Graduate Mechanical Engineering Technology, 2013 Structural technical designer – Blue Origin
 

Ben Laurence

The sky is definitely not the limit for Ben Laurence. As a structural technical designer for aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company Blue Origin, he designs, analyzes, tests and flies structural components for the New Shepherd spacecraft. New Shepherd is a suborbital manned rocket being developed as a commercial system for suborbital space tourism. It’s the first vehicle in human history to fly to space and return safely to Earth for future use. Flights with test passengers are planned for late 2018, with commercial passenger flights to begin in 2018. Blue Origin is owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.       Blake Merritt – Technology Computer Programming, 1985 Vice president, IT Infrastructure Services and Cloud Computing – Meridian Credit Union
 

Blake Merritt

Blake Merritt is a senior technology leader with more than 28 years experience. He is driven by a strong collaborative approach, analytical mindset and the desire to find value for end users/customers through the most effective use of innovative solutions. He led the team that created the most automated and largest VMWare Private Cloud installation in Canada for Canada’s largest retailer, Canadian Tire Corporation. As vice-president, IT Infrastructure Services and Cloud Computing at Meridian Credit Union, he is accountable for setting strategic direction, implementation, support and operation of the underlying infrastructure and cloud solutions within Meridian’s technical landscape.   Congratulations to all of our 2017 NC nominees! For more information on the 2017 Premier’s Awards and past recipients, visit co-awards.org

Meet China’s first Master Sommelier as three contenders make grade

A Niagara College wine grad Lu Yang has become the first Master Sommelier in China. Yang is currently corporate wine director for Shangri-La Hotels globally.  An article posted by Decanter.com on August 22 features the NC grad’s achievement. View it here.  

Bench Brewing partners with Niagara College Teaching Brewery

Bench Brewing Company president Matt Giffen (front, fourth from left), the first recipient of the Bench Brewing Graduating Student Award, Matthew Shea (front, fifth from left), and NC president Dan Patterson (front, third from right), are joined by students and faculty from the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program and the team from Bench Brewing Company to celebrate a $30,000 gift from Bench Brewing.

Matt Giffen, president of Bench Brewing Company (third from left) presents a $30,000 donation to Niagara College president Dan Patterson (second from left) to establish the Bench Brewing Graduating Student Award. Pictured (from left) are Steve Gill (Niagara College Learning Enterprises Corp. general manager), Dan Patterson (NC president), Matt Giffen (president, Bench Brewing Company), Gary Torraville (NC Canadian Food and Wine Institute associate dean), Craig Youdale (NC Canadian Food and Wine Institute dean), and program professor Jon Downing (NC Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management).

 

With a $30,000 donation to Niagara College, Bench Brewing is pleased to announce its long-term partnership with the Niagara College Teaching Brewery to award three scholarships each year to outstanding graduates starting August 9, 2017.  As the craft brewing industry continues to grow in quality and reputation, these scholarships will continue fostering innovation, inspire high standards of excellence and prepare graduates for professional success.

“We are honoured to begin a long-term partnership with the Niagara College Teaching Brewery in providing an annual scholarship for outstanding graduating students,” said Matt Giffen, founder and president of Bench Brewing. “These talented new graduates represent the future of the Ontario craft beer industry as it continues to grow and strive for new levels of quality and innovation.”

Partnering with the Niagara College Teaching Brewery, Canada’s first and largest teaching brewery, will help further academic and professional excellence not only for graduates, but also incoming students.

“We thank Bench brewing for its generous support that not only supports the future of the craft beer industry, but our mission of ‘enriching lives and fulfilling dreams’ of our students,” said Craig Youdale, dean of Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute.

“The very generous award set up by Matt of Bench Brewing recognizes two of the key attributes of any brewer and their products, quality and consistency,” said Brewmaster professor Jon Downing. “By recognizing the high level of continual effort over four semesters both in the classroom, as a volunteer at events and in the brewery, Matthew Shea is a natural first recipient of the award.”

The Bench Brewing Scholarship – of $2,000– will be awarded to three NC Brewmaster students each year for the next five years. It will be awarded to a student in the final term of the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program who exhibits academic excellence, excellent brewing skills, and collaboration and a passion for the industry.

The first recipient of a Bench Brewing Scholarship is Thornhill resident Matthew Shea, a university graduate who followed his dreams to enter the craft brewing industry two years ago by enrolling in NC’s Brewmaster program. Now a recent graduate of the program (June 2017), Shea applauded the support he has received from the craft brew industry as a student and said he was grateful for the Bench Brewing scholarship.

“Financial assistance is greatly beneficial to students,” said Shea. “Students face a lot of pressure and time requirements trying to balance school, work, and family duties, so any assistance is greatly appreciated.”

About Bench Brewing

Currently under construction, Bench Brewing Company is proudly located near Beamsville, Ontario in the Twenty Valley of the Niagara Escarpment. Bench Brewing embraces the local agricultural traditions of the area and is inspired by the Belgian farmhouse-style of brewing. Opening in 2017 in the converted historic Maple Grove Schoolhouse, the site will feature a three-acre hops field, wild ale and barrel fermentation program, tap room and beer garden.

Niagara College celebrates Grand Opening of Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Welland

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on July 28 to mark the official opening of the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Centre at Niagara College’s Welland Campus. Pictured (from left): Andrew McCuaig (grad, research associate, Research & Innovation); Marc Nantel (associate VP, Research & Innovation); Dan Patterson (NC president); John Scott (NC Board of Governors); Charles Sousa (Ontario minister of Finance); Geordie Walker; Norris Walker; Jim Bradley St. Catharines MPP); Jackie Phelan (Walker Industries); Mike Watt (Walker Industries); Daniela Cortes Aristizabal (student, research associate, Research & Innovation).

View time lapse video of Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (construction) here.

Ontario is supporting the development of a highly-skilled workforce and helping businesses in Niagara region access the technology and expertise they need to grow, create jobs and compete in the global marketplace.

On July 28, Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, joined local companies, Niagara College students and industry leaders at the grand opening of the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Welland.

The new Niagara College-affiliated centre provides students with more than 15,000 square feet of lab space for hands-on applied learning, innovation space for companies to work onsite and office space for Niagara students and industry staff.

The centre will also help Ontario’s small and medium-sized manufacturers save on production costs and reduce production time by providing them access to leading-edge equipment and state-of-the-art research facilities as well as the expertise and business services of faculty and students.

Fostering innovation and growth, and increasing opportunities for the province’s workers, is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow its economy and help people in their everyday lives.

“By supporting the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, students in the Niagara Region will have access to modern learning spaces and equipment that will help them develop the skills they’ll need for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said  Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

“Ontario’s dynamic manufacturing sector is a key component of our diverse economy. The Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre is a shining example of a company that has taken advantage of home grown talent to drive success, while providing custom work for businesses throughout the region,” said Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance. “These investments are among the many significant measures we’ve taken to help the sector grow and compete as we build and nurture the workforce of tomorrow.”

The Walker family and Walker Industries donated $1.2 million to support Niagara College’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre.  The gift from the Walker family is the largest private corporate donation ever made to Niagara College.

The fifth generation Walker family members are the owners of Walker Industries, a Niagara-based company that owns and operates limestone quarries; road construction and paving businesses; an emulsions plant; an integrated waste management system which includes collection, transfer, recycling, composting, biosolids management, landfill gas utilization and waste disposal; and a residential and commercial development division.

“As a family and a business that has had strong roots in the region for 130 years, we are proud to invest in Niagara College’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre,” said Geordie Walker, company shareholder, Walker Industries. “The ability to innovate is key to future economic prosperity. We see our gift as a way to support other local industries to innovate, prosper, and contribute to the continued growth of the Niagara economy, while providing students with work experiences that will make them the innovators of the future.”

“It’s an exciting day for Niagara College as we formally recognize how the province of Ontario’s investment and the donation from the Walker family has made it possible to provide manufacturers with increased access to leading-edge facilities, equipment, technical expertise, training and services, while increasing training and employment opportunities for our students,” said NC president Dan Patterson.

 

QUICK FACTS (Ontario Ministry of Finance)

*  Ontario invested $4.2 million for Niagara College’s new Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

*  Manufacturing real GDP in Ontario has risen for three consecutive years, while employment in the sector increased by more than 6,000 in 2016 and continues to advance in 2017.

*  Over the past three years, Ontario’s economy has grown faster than Canada’s and that of all G7 countries, supported by the government’s strategic investments. Manufacturing, exports and business investments are increasing and the unemployment rate continues to decline.

LEARN MORE

Construction Begins on New Manufacturing Innovation Centre

Two NC students receive prestigious DiRōNA scholarships

Representatives from DiRoNA present scholarships to two Niagara College students at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus June 19. Pictured from left: Craig Youdale (dean, NC Canadian Food and Wine Institute), Helen Tabitha Lindsay (NC student, Winery and Viticulture Technician program), Don Ziraldo (wine pioneer), John Arena (founder, DiRoNa), Scott Breard (executive director, DiRoNA), Kelly Breard (executive director, DiRoNA), Alexis Currell-Therrien (NC student, Honours Bachelor of Applied Business International Commerce and Global Development) , Justin Williams (NC, associate dean, School of Business and Managemetn), Dan Patterson (NC president).

Helen Tabitha Lindsay and Alexis Currell-Therrien are the recipients of DiRoNA’s 2017 scholarships.

The Distinguished Restaurant of North America (DiRōNA) Award, one of the most prestigious awards for fine dining, has named two Niagara College students as recipients of its 2017 DiRōNA scholarships.

“DiRōNA is excited that two of our seven 2017 DiRoNA Scholarships are being awarded to students from Niagara College” said Scott Breard, DiRōNA executive director. “Niagara College is providing an exceptional education for students seeking careers in the restaurant industry. The campus is conveniently situated in the heart of the Niagara wine region making it a premier location.”

Recipients of the $2,500 (USD) scholarships are Alexis Currell-Therrien who is entering her third year of the Honours Bachelor of Applied Business International Commerce and Global Development program; and Helen Tabitha Lindsay, a first-year student of the Winery and Viticulture Technician program.

Lindsay, who is originally from Toronto, said she was surprised and very happy about the news.

“It’s exciting; I didn’t even know someone from the program had nominated me,” said Lindsay.  “I’m going on a practicum to work at a winery in Portugal at the end of August until mid-December, so this is great timing to receive a scholarship.”

Currell-Therrien, who is a resident of Niagara Falls, said she too was surprised by the news that she would be receiving the scholarship. Her nomination came from the Niagara tourism industry, as she has worked at Whirlpool Aero Car for the past five years.

“I feel ecstatic. This scholarship is really going to help me out in pursuing my studies this year,” said Currell-Therrien.

The students met with representatives from DiRōNA and the College on July 19 to receive their scholarships and were treated to lunch at Benchmark restaurant.

“At Niagara College, our vision is to enrich lives and fulfill dreams of our students, and we thank DiRōNA for their generous scholarships that will help make that happen for two of our students,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “Through its support for student learning, we applaud DiRōNA for its investment in the future of the industry.”

Founded in 1990, DiRōNA was established to promote the fine dining industry and offer recognition to award winners across North America.  The authority for excellence in distinguished dining,  DiRōNA provides a forum for education, networking, philanthropy, and marketing benefits for the distinguished dining community. Since its founding, the DiRōNA Award Scholarship Fund has helped countless students to pursue careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation Donates $100,000 to Support Instructional Equipment at Niagara College

Niagara College Environmental Technician – Field and Laboratory program students, from left, Christine Combe, Jon Banninga, and Katie Bristow, share their applied learning experience in the program’s outdoor classroom at the beautiful Wetland Ridge Trail at NC’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, with The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation representatives Angelo Ruscitti, Suzie Bowles, president/chair Adrian Barnet and Ron Hartle. In recognition of their generous gift, Niagara College has named the outdoor classroom in honour of The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation.

The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation, a strong supporter of Niagara College (NC), has announced a gift of $100,000, the latest in a history of support for student initiatives at the College.

This gift will support the purchase of instructional equipment to help ensure NC graduates have the critical skills they need to meet employer expectations and ever-evolving industry needs.

In honour of this generous gift, the College has named the ‘outdoor classroom’ at the beautiful Wetland Ridge Trail at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, ‘The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation Outdoor Classroom.’ This area is used by students in the Environmental Technician – Field and Laboratory program.

Since 1979, The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation has supported student initiatives including: 112 scholarships and bursaries in the environmental programs; Capital Campaigns; Gifts-in-Kind; and, the latest donation of $100,000 —  $600,000 in donations in all.

“We are grateful to The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation for its generous gift of $100,000,” said NC president Dan Patterson. “This continued support is yet another demonstration of the Foundation’s leadership role in making our Niagara community a better place to live, learn and work.”

College graduates are a backbone of many occupations, skills and trades that are crucial to a strong economy, said Patterson.

“Ontario Paper was a highly successful company due to the availability of skilled labour in the Niagara region,” said Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation president and chairperson Adrian Barnet. “Part of the company’s legacy is giving back to the community that ensured its success for over 100 years of paper-making. Niagara College provides access to cutting edge tools to teach students the skills they will need to contribute to new and traditional industry areas.

“We want our children to have jobs and Niagara College plays a key role in ensuring that they get rewarding and prosperous employment here in the Niagara region and around the world.”

Added Patterson: “access to state-of-the-art equipment is the cornerstone of successful applied education. This gift supports the hands-on training our students need as they prepare for meaningful and productive careers.”

The outdoor classroom has been used for soil and water sampling, species identification and ecosystem restoration since the construction of the campus in 1999.

“We are fortunate to have access to the outdoor classroom,” said Al Unwin, associate dean of the School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies. “Experience is what makes Niagara College unique and prepares our students for entering the workforce with relevant experience and skills.

“We are grateful for The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation’s generous support and are honoured to dedicate this site in their name.”

The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation has a long history of contributing to the development and maintenance of a healthy economic, educational, social and environmental climate throughout the Niagara region, by offering financial support to various charitable organizations.

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs. For more information, visit: donate.niagaracollege.ca/foundation