Georgian’s WOMEN’S inTUITION celebrates milestone funding achievement

This December, Georgian College celebrated the incredible milestone of raising more than $765,000 for the WOMEN’S inTUITION endowment. Founded by Giselle Bodkin, a partner with BDO Barrie, this fund was created in 2015 to break down financial barriers for women studying at Georgian.

More than 250 donors contributed to the fund, resulting in over 235 awards, scholarships, and bursaries that have been given to female students, allowing them to focus on their studies to achieve their academic, career, and personal goals.

A smiling woman with short dark hair wearing a black dress (Gisele Bodkin) standing at a podium in front of a screen saying WOMEN'S inTUITION
Giselle Bodkin

Education has always been the great equalizer for earning an income and being able to support yourself. I’ve always been a doer, and after attending a special event focused on female empowerment, I knew there was more I could do to help create more opportunities for those students that need it.

– Giselle Bodkin, WOMEN’S inTUITION founder, and Georgian Advancement Committee member

From that moment, Giselle’s mission became personal. Her late sister-in-law, Leanne Kavanagh, was a registered nurse who had put herself through Georgian’s nursing program. While Kavanagh tragically passed away from brain cancer, she had a long and fulfilling career as a nurse, and WOMEN’S inTUITION was opportunity to open doors for other women with similar financial challenges.

“I think back to Leanne,” recalls Giselle, while speaking to a packed room of donors and supporters. “She started as a bartender and worked tirelessly at that job while studying part-time in Georgian’s nursing program to build a new career and life for herself. Tirelessly. How many more women can we help so they won’t have to worry about finances and start putting themselves first? How can we create those opportunities?”

To celebrate the milestone, supporters were treated to a morning featuring special performances from local female friends of the college, including Barrie’s first female Poet Laureate, Victoria Butler, and live local artist, Alexandra Gronfors, who finished a commemorative painting reflecting the themes of the fundraising initiative during the duration of the event.

A man (Kevin Weaver) and a woman (Giselle Bodkin) smiling and dressed in business attire. They're standing in front of blue background with the Georgian logo on it.

We are honoured by Giselle’s commitment to an unrivaled student experience. Giselle’s tenacious advocacy for improving the lives of women and their communities by ensuring access to postsecondary education is infectious. Reaching this fundraising goal would not have been possible without her leadership and fierce championship of this ground-breaking initiative. You were the visionary and continue to be the driving force of WOMEN’S inTUITION.

Kevin Weaver, Georgian President and CEO.

Donors to the campaign created a number of new awards and scholarships in addition to funding a permanent endowment that will provide annual financial support to students.

The WOMEN’s inTUITION fund is now a permanent program at Georgian.

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