Participating in the cheque presentation, from left to right, are Deputy Mayor John O’Donnell, Township of Ramara; Simcoe County Warden Gerry Marshall; Dr. Moira McPherson, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor at Lakehead University, Mayor Harry Hughes, Township of Oro Medonte; Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans, Principal, Lakehead Orillia; Deputy Mayor Anita Dubeau, Town of Penetanguishene; Mayor George Cornell, Township of Tiny; and Deputy Mayor David Ritchie, Township of Tay.
January 24, 2018 – Orillia, ON
Warden Gerry Marshall and members of Simcoe County Council presented Lakehead University with a $1 million cheque on Wednesday to support growth and access to learning opportunities for students in the region.
The donation is part of the County of Simcoe’s annual pledge to improve access to postsecondary education across the region. Today’s announcement brings the County of Simcoe’s total contributions to Lakehead to approximately $7.5 million since 2009.
Providing residents with access to higher education, training and skills development is the reason why the County continues to invest in the University.
“County Council understands the vital role our region’s post-secondary educational facilities will play for generations to come,” said Warden Marshall. Graduates end up living and working in the region, contributing to the sustainability of our communities.
Lakehead University Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson said that the impact of the County’s contributions over the years has served as a value-added investment in the region.
“Today’s gift furthers Simcoe County’s growth — growth in the success of our teaching, community service, and research activities, as well as increased economic impacts,” she said, citing a recent Economic Impact Study conducted by Lakehead’s Faculty of Business Administration, which concluded that the University’s impact on the County of Simcoe is approximately $80 million to $95 million.
“Lakehead University has been the regions university for over a decade, and we particularly appreciate the County’s consistent, generous, and exceptional support.”
Dr. McPherson, along with Lakehead Orillia Principal Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans, reported to the County’s Council members and guests how their investment has supported Lakehead’s growth. The positive impacts have included the impressive growth of students enrolled at the campus — from just over 100 students in 2006 to over 1,400 today; growth of academic programs, including those in partnership with Georgian College; as well as international student growth, and the expansion of research activities.
Grace Runciman, a fourth-year Environmental Sustainability Studies student, recalled her journey of personal growth during the ceremony and thanked the County of Simcoe for its support on behalf of the student body.
“It is hard to know exactly what it was that turned on my confidence and helped me begin on this path, but I know for sure that being here at Lakehead has provided me with the best start I could ask for,” she said. “Thank you to the professors and staff of Lakehead University and the County of Simcoe for giving me the best education experience I could have asked for.”
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Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.