Jack and Joan Donald donate $3 million to RDC Facility
Philanthropists continue vital role in central Alberta post-secondary education
It was another momentous day in the history of Red Deer College, as philanthropists Jack and Joan Donald committed a gift of $3 million towards the construction of the Donald Health & Wellness Centre, a wing in the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris.
In recognition of this extraordinary gift, this wing will be dedicated to teaching and learning in the fields of health and wellness. The Donald Health & Wellness Centre will be integral to student success, particularly for learners in the RDC School of Health Sciences.
“Jack and Joan are not only supporters of Red Deer College, they are invaluable community builders who have given so much to this region,” says Joel Ward, RDC President & CEO. “Their latest gift will play a key role in continuing RDC’s presence in our communities, expanding program opportunities and supporting the growing health and wellness needs of Central Albertans.”
The $3 million gift will provide vital funds that are helping Red Deer College to make the most of its latest facility expansion project for its learners. In addition to increasing programming opportunities on campus, the facility will be another major step in RDC’s efforts to attain Polytechnic University status, a designation that would position the institution to offer its own degrees right here in central Alberta.
Together Jack and Joan Donald founded and built Parkland Industries Ltd., a publicly traded company, retiring from that company in 2005. Now, Parkland Fuel Corp is Canada’s largest and one of North America’s fastest growing independent marketers of fuel and petroleum products. The Donald’s through their various business ventures never lost sight of community causes that have meant so much to them. In 2011, RDC opened its new downtown campus, the Donald School of Business in recognition of their long-standing support of the College.
“We have continued to invest in Red Deer College because we believe in empowering local learners to give them the opportunities they need to be successful in their careers and lives. Our communities are strengthened tremendously with the high-quality individuals who are bettering themselves in their time on campus, and beyond,” says Joan.
Their support ranges from the contribution of their time and expertise in numerous volunteer roles, to strengthening our region through participation on various Boards. In 2011, Joan was named a Member of the Order of Canada. And just last year, Jack was honoured with the Alberta Order of Excellence.
The new facility will welcome learners in the fall of 2018, enhancing the opportunities available at Red Deer College. The Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre will also host five events during the 2019 Canada Winter Games. The Centre has an estimated cost of $88 million, funded through a combination of donations, partnerships and government funding.
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