Lambton College on Friday received the largest single corporate donation in its 49-year history.
And the feeling was mutual for Nova Chemicals. The $2 million it donated to the Lambton College Foundation’s Envision Tomorrow Capital campaign was its largest educational investment so far.
The money will be used to help fund the construction of a new $30-million health and research centre on campus.
The Foundation announced the campaign’s launch in June to help improve applied research opportunities, boost academic programming and enhance student athletics. After receiving $20 million from the federal and provincial governments, as well as $5 million from Lambton County council earlier this year, Nova’s contribution pushes the fund to the $33.3-million. The goal is to raise $45 million.
College president and CEO Judith Morris said the money earmarked for the soon-to-be built Nova Chemical Health and Research Centre will benefit students, the college and the community. It will also help make Lambton College synonymous with cutting-edge research opportunities and world-class facilities.
“You can see how this will just expand that research opportunity, because it adds not only the technological side of research but the health side of research and sustainable care,” she said Friday, noting the college had recently been ranked 11th out of 50 Canadian research colleges by Research Infosource Inc.
“In addition to that, it will provide a huge beacon for health students and other students, because they’ll see that we have buildings that are hugely attractive and know that we have up-to-date technology and that will generate a buzz and an excitement which will be a great recruitment tool.”
The donation underlines Nova’s commitment to the college, Morris said, pointing to the fact Nova Chemicals has already mentored 224 co-op students from the college and has also hired 118 Lambton College grads.
“It’s huge because what it says is that our community and our industrial partners — who have always supported the college — continue to support us,” Morris. “We are deeply grateful for what they have given us.”
Nova Chemicals’ Tom Thompson joined over 100 dignitaries, students, staff and guests at the announcement and said the donation is part of the company’s vision of helping the college produce top-notch, exceptional and employable graduates.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the college to continue to grow, it provides world-class facilities for the students and it’s great for the region and the community too,” said Thompson. “Investing in the communities where we operate is important for this company and a donation of this size doesn’t come along too often, but we felt this was a great opportunity and a great thing to support.”