November 19, 2019 – Orillia, Ont.
Surrounded by Lakehead University students and alumni, County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell and members of County Council presented President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson, Board of Governors Chair Ross Murray, and Lakehead Orillia Principal Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans, with a $1 million gift.
The gift is part of the County of Simcoe’s annual pledge to improve access to post-secondary education across the region. Today’s announcement brings the County of Simcoe’s contributions to Lakehead to $9.5 million since 2009.
“Our investment in post-secondary educational institutions supports our economy, helps to expand our labour market and provides local access to world-class education for our residents, including the 654 Simcoe County students currently enrolled at Lakehead University,” said Warden George Cornell. “Our 10-year funding commitment of $10 million supports Lakehead’s innovative programming, and ensures that Simcoe County has well-educated, job-ready candidates to help grow our 16,000 area businesses.”
During the event, County Councillors heard first-hand from second-year social work student and Midland, Ont. resident, Amanda Rego-Lynch, the impact of having a university in the community.
“I’m the first generation in my family to go to university,” said Rego-Lynch, “and I believed for a long time that I would never be able to, so this is a huge milestone for me. I may have come in a bit late (as a mature student), but Lakehead University has changed my life. And, it’s had an impact on my kids. My 12-year-old son is now saying, ‘If mom can do it, so can I!’”
Lakehead Orillia Principal Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans reflected on the fact that without the County of Simcoe’s support and investment, many students, like Rego-Lynch, would never have the opportunity to attend university.
“The County of Simcoe’s outstanding support of Lakehead University continues to have a nurturing, positive impact on everything you see around us, but especially on our students – many of our 1,400 students come from your communities,” he explained. “The most important outcome of your investment is the success of our students, our graduates and the citizens of tomorrow.”
A success that wouldn’t be possible without a university experience where students’ unique needs and potential are embraced and nurtured explained Dr. Moira McPherson.
“Our commitment to helping students overcome barriers to access and offering every student a transformative experience is reflected in our unique pathways to entry, student support programs, extensive opportunities for experiential learning and research, strong retention and graduation, and impressive employment outcomes,” said Dr. McPherson.
“When we’re asked how many of our students find work after graduation, we can proudly say that 96.7% of our students find work within their field of study within two years – consistently above the provincial average. We’re especially proud when the places they’ve chosen to live and work are right here in Orillia and Simcoe County.”
Following the cheque presentation, councillors and students had the opportunity to interact and speak about their university experience.
Since 2009, the County of Simcoe has contributed $9.5-million t0 Lakehead University, to ensure that students in Simcoe County have access to university education closer to home.
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca
Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 8,500 students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has 10 faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Maclean’s 2020 University Rankings, once again, included Lakehead University among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, and in 2018, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.
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Public Relations Manager
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch
705-726-9300 Ext. 1430
Media, Communications and Marketing Associate
705-330-4008 ext. 2014