NSCC principal lauds Sobey donation

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STELLARTON — The principal of the Pictou Campus Nova Scotia Community College was over the moon with joy at the announcement of a multi-million dollar contribution to the community college.

Donald R. Sobey Foundation, The Sobey Foundation, and Frank, Heather, Karl and Ann Sobey will collectively contribute $6.5 million to empower generations of Nova Scotia Community College students through socio-economic transformation. Building on an existing partnership between the Sobeys and NSCC, these new strategic investments will establish a broad legacy around access to education for all Nova Scotians.

“I almost have to pinch myself,” Dave Freckleton said. “This is absolutely terrific.”

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A $4 million gift from the Donald R. Sobey Foundation will directly recruit and assist individuals who are facing barriers to attaining a post-secondary education. Working in partnership with community agencies and law enforcement organizations from across Nova Scotia, the Donald R. Sobey Foundation Fund at NSCC will enable individuals who have never considered a college education an attainable goal. The first Donald R. Sobey Foundation Bursaries will be funded through a personal gift provided by Rob Sobey. Once the endowment fund is fully implemented, more than 80 bursaries valued at $2,000 each, will be provided annually to individuals referred to NSCC by community agencies working in this space.

“By providing individuals who face barriers an opportunity to access a college education, we hope to enhance their path to employment and independence,” said Donald Sobey in a press release.

“We believe education has the power to transform lives. We have chosen to work with community and law enforcement organizations across the province to break down the barriers to entry that have left people behind for generations.”

Freckleton said, “We can have the best shops and curriculum, but it doesn’t help students” who face socio-economic barriers,

A $2 million gift from the Sobey Foundation will evolve food services education at NSCC. It will support the refurbishment of Sobeys Culinary Centres at six campuses across Nova Scotia and provide a dedicated fund to finance bursaries for students who choose to study culinary arts at NSCC.

“Over the past 12 years, more than 2,300 students have honed their hospitality skills in Sobeys Culinary Centres at NSCC,” said Sobey Foundation Chair Frank Sobey in a press release. “These talented graduates contribute to our province’s economy through their work in commercial kitchens and dining rooms across the province. If we’re to grow our tourism and hospitality sector here, we need culinary professionals.”

A $500,000 gift from Frank, Heather, Karl and Ann Sobey will establish a legacy of access to education in memory of their parents, Doe and Bill Sobey. Students in financial need who are studying at NSCC’s Marconi & Pictou Campuses can apply for the Doe and Bill Sobey Inspiration Awards to help cover tuition and related college expenses.

“The generosity of the Sobey Family will make an extraordinary impact on those who wish to embrace and benefit from post-secondary education,” said NSCC President Don Bureaux in a press release. “Their support will serve as a catalyst, making a new beginning possible for deserving students in need.”

Freckleton lauded, “Hats off to Sobeys. The Sobey family embodies the word community.”