On the opening day of Georgian College’s new Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences, Barrie businessman Paul Sadlon helped the college complete its fundraising goal for the new facility by announcing his gift of $2 million.
Sadlon’s donation brings the total raised for the Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences, located at the Barrie Campus, to $14.5 million. Georgian had set a goal to raise $13.5 million to improve local health care education with this state-of-the-art 172,000-square-foot expansion.
“Health care professionals are a critical part of any community. As someone who has called Simcoe County home for more than 40 years, it is important to me to invest in the future of this community,” said Sadlon. “The students who will graduate from this facility are going to be the health care providers that my family, friends and customers will rely on for generations to come and I’m proud to support them.”
Sadlon, who owns Paul Sadlon Motors, took part in the ribbon cutting for the new centre named in his honour. His donation is the largest monetary gift Georgian has ever received from an individual outside of a bequest.
Frank Berdan, Chair of Georgian’s Health and Wellness fundraising cabinet, said Sadlon’s gift is an incredible contribution to our future workforce and community well-being.
“Paul’s commitment to post-secondary students, and the community as a whole, marks a historic moment at Georgian College. His support, and the support from all our donors, demonstrates that the Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences is a project that has truly brought the community together,” Berdan said.
Georgian College will continue to fundraise, notes Berdan, with the Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences raising the benchmark for what can be accomplished for local post-secondary education.
The centre will be able to accommodate an additional 1,800 full-time students annually from more than 10 health care disciplines. It will also include six community-accessible clinics.
Sadlon hopes his contribution will make a difference to students on their academic journeys just as his father made a difference on his.
“When I was in Grade 10, I wanted to quit school. My father wouldn’t hear of it and did everything in his power to make me see the value in education,” he said.
Sadlon recalls that it wasn’t until he crashed his parents’ car as a teenager and his father made him go back to school that he saw his father’s wisdom.
He thinks that students today know at a young age the maturity and prosperity that comes with a post-secondary education. But notes they have many new challenges to face; the cost of school, workforce competition and more.
“I want to help remove barriers our young generation is facing and make local post-secondary opportunities accessible, relevant and rewarding,” Sadlon said.