A $1.5 million donation from the Joyce Family Foundation will help Georgian College fund a new bursary program for its Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing (BScN) students.

The college has a campus in Bracebridge on Wellington St.

According to college officials, four bursaries will be available at a value of $4,500 each. They will be awarded every year to new, full-time students “who have demonstrated financial need and have overcome obstacles and adversity” adding one of the bursaries will be earmarked for someone who self-identifies as a person with Indigenous ancestry.

The first batch of students of BScN students will step on campus in September.

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They say the donation is the largest gift of financial support received in the college’s history.

“We are very grateful to the Joyce Family Foundation for recognizing the importance of supporting those who choose to enter the nursing profession,” Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of the college, says. “The need for nurses in our communities is acute and this very generous and transformational investment will go a long way to ensuring that financial need is not a barrier for any future nurses who study in our new degree program. It is critical to preparing the next generation of nurses for our region.”

The Joyce Family Foundation was founded by Ronald Joyce and is based in Barrie. “His philanthropy reflects a deep-rooted sense of responsibility to give back to his community,” a write-up on the organization’s website reads.