Entrepreneur and developer Henry Bernick is the newest recipient of a Georgian College honourary Bachelor of Applied Studies degree. Bernick was presented with the honour during convocation ceremonies at the Barrie Campus on Oct. 23.
The honourary Bachelor of Applied Studies degree is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to society and enhanced or promoted the college’s image and reputation.
In 2011, Georgian became the first college in Ontario to secure a $1-million endowed chair, thanks to Bernick’s generosity. The gift included an additional $500,000 donation to create the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, which opened at the Barrie Campus in May of 2012.
The centre will play a long-term role in supporting the economic development of the City of Barrie and the County of Simcoe, where vital resources and expertise will be accessible to both students and the community.
In 1939, at the age of 15, Bernick’s family emigrated from Poland and settled on a 100-acre farm in Essa Township. Bernick entered the business world through a family business and, with the support of key mentors and business partners, became a pioneer in the land development industry in Barrie and the Toronto area.
Despite his vast accomplishments, Bernick has remained steadfastly connected to his Simcoe County roots.
Education and lifelong learning have become intrinsic to Bernick’s life and successes. From the time his grandfather hired a year-round teacher in Poland to teach his 10 children in their home, to the insistence of his parents that he attend university rather than staying home to work the farm in Essa, Bernick knew that education would be a lifelong beacon to success and fulfillment.