John and Margaret Elliott spent their careers in hands-on occupations – he as a tradesman and business owner and she as a home economics teacher. Applied learning was their specialty and it is a reason why they chose to support Georgian College with a $1-million donation.
The contribution is in support of Georgian’s Centre for Health and Wellness at the Barrie Campus, opening on August 31. The centre will feature six community-accessible health clinics and multiple simulation labs where students will receive hands-on training in their health care discipline.
“I think it’s terrific what colleges are doing and Georgian College in particular. They are able to initiate programs that are helpful to industry and to the community,” said John Elliott.
As Chairman of The Sarjeant Company, which provides concrete, fuel and aggregates across Ontario, Elliott’s ties to Georgian College date back more than a decade. He recalls meeting with Georgian College President and CEO Brian Tamblyn years ago to discuss training needs in the construction industry such as quality control testing for concrete.
“It was encouraging to work with Georgian to research new programs and courses with the goal of making recruitment in my industry easier,” said Elliott.
Similarly, recruitment of health care professionals will be made easier by the increased student capacity of the 172,000-square-foot Centre for Health and Wellness. Georgian will be able to double its full-time health and wellness student enrolment to 3,000 from 1,500.
Tamblyn says it is donors like the Elliott’s who are making growth at Georgian College possible.
“John and Margaret have the vision to see the long-term impact that their generous gift will have on local post-secondary education opportunities and the communities that Georgian College serves. Their gift to the Centre for Health and Wellness will support our students who are beginning their studies this fall, but who will soon be working in our local hospitals, health units, medical clinics, long term care homes and more,” said Tamblyn.
Fifteen full-time health and wellness programs will be offered in the new centre, as well as several Part-time Studies courses.
“Margaret and I are pleased to support this project to give local students, whether they are just starting out or looking for second career training, the opportunity to learn close to home,” said Elliott.
The Elliott’s $1-million gift brings the total raised for the Centre for Health and Wellness to $12.2 million, or 90 per cent of Georgian’s community fundraising goal for this project. To learn more about Georgian’s Power of Education Campaign, visit www.georgiancollege.ca/giving.
The public is invited to tour the new centre, located at One Georgian Drive in Barrie, on August 31 from 1 to 4 p.m.