Principal Daniel Woolf announced a $5 million donation for student bursaries that Queen’s received from the Joyce Foundation at Stauffer Library on Tuesday.
Thirty-two students from Kingston and the surrounding area that demonstrate financial need will be able to benefit from the gift. Up to $5,000 will be awarded to these students for each of their four years of undergraduate study.
Ron Joyce, co-founder of the Tim Horton’s doughnut chain and founder of the Joyce Foundation, received an honourary degree from Queen’s in 1999 for his commitment to Canadian philanthropy and entrepreneurship.
Representatives of the Joyce Foundation and Ron Joyce’s sons, Grant and Steve Joyce, were welcomed into the library foyer by Principal Woolf, students with “Thank You” signs and the Queen’s Bands playing traditional marching tunes.
Woolf thanked the Joyce Foundation for the donation, noting that only approximately four per cent of Queen’s students actually come from the Kingston area.
Woolf said Queen’s has a reputation of being “inaccessible and expensive”, especially for many potential students from working class families in the Kingston area.
“Without this support, attending Queen’s would probably be unimaginable for some of these students,” Woolf said.
Queen’s was one of the first universities to recognize Ron Joyce’s outstanding work, Grant Joyce said, which his father greatly appreciated, especially since he came from a working class family.
“To get recognition from someone that is outside of [the] direct sphere of influence is a terrific thing and in appreciation of that consideration I’m here today to announce the gift of $5 million,” Joyce said in his address to the crowd.
Queen’s currently provides approximately $10 million in need-based financial aid for approximately 2,800 undergraduate students.
“Access to post-secondary education is crucial to ensure that young Canadians continue to excel and can compete in a global market place,” Joyce said.
“Hopefully this gift, combined with the many other generous gifts that have been given to Queen’s over the years, can continue to ensure that financial hardship is no longer a barrier to post-secondary education here at Queen’s.”
Hannah Smith, Sci ’16, also spoke at the event, expressing her thanks to the Joyce Foundation, having experienced the benefits of Queen’s bursaries herself.
“The largest gift that financial aid and bursaries from Queen’s has given me is that of peace of mind,” Smith said in her address, adding that bursaries have allowed her to focus on her academics and extracurriculars instead of worrying about paying bills.
The event ended with a crowd-wide Oil Thigh initiated by Bands.
The gift of bursaries “mean more than you can possibly imagine,” Smith said.
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