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Sask. Polytechnic receives $7.5 million donation for new campus

Click to play video: 'Sask. Polytechnic receives $7.5 million donation for new campus'
Sask. Polytechnic receives $7.5 million donation for new campus
Saskatchewan Polytechnic is a step closer to reaching its $100 million dollar goal to build a new centralized campus after receiving a $7.5 million donation Tuesday – May 7, 2024

Saskatchewan Polytechnic is a step closer to reaching its $100-million goal to build a new centralized campus.

The school received $7.5 million from Concorde Group of Companies founders and renowned philanthropists Irene Dubé and the late Leslie Dubé. The funding boost will go toward the “Time to Rise” campaign, to support the construction of the new Joseph A. Remai Saskatoon Campus, which will be located at the University of Saskatchewan’s Innovation place.

“I know my dad’s up there smiling,” Irene and Leslie’s son, David Dubé said Tuesday. “I think he would probably love to be here because he’d try to close some more donations. He loved that — He loved philanthropy.”

Click to play video: 'Mentor, father and friend: Les Dubé’s son reflects on philanthropist’s life'
Mentor, father and friend: Les Dubé’s son reflects on philanthropist’s life

The School of Nursing is being renamed the Leslie and Irene Dubé School of Nursing — in recognition of this funding during National Nursing Week.

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“I can tell you that the number of times he was in the hospital, the care of those nurses made the biggest impact on him,” David Dubé said.

Irene Dubé said over the years, their family witnessed firsthand the quality healthcare provided by nurses. They wanted give back to show the nursing profession recognition and demonstrate their respect.

“You may see a doctor once a day when you’re in the hospital, but you will see your nurse literally dozens of times,” she said. “Nurses are your comfort and care when you are most vulnerable.”

A portion of the funding will establish an endowment for Saskatchewan Polytech psychiatric nursing student awards. The $1 million investment will help future psychiatric nurses receive education and training.

Second-year psychiatric nursing student Kelly Unrau chose this program because she wanted to make a a positive impact on her community.

“Being a psychiatric nurse means being a light of hope for people,” she said. “You’re dedicated to supporting and caring for vulnerable communities. In Saskatchewan, where the prevalence of mental illness, substance use and inadequate housing is high, the need for skilled and knowledgeable psychiatric nurses has never been more pressing.”

Click to play video: '$200 million committed for new Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus at UofS'
$200 million committed for new Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus at UofS

Larry Rosia, Saskatchewan Polytechnic President and CEO said the donation is transformational for the school.

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“It’ll help the students in the school of nursing and in our health sciences area, but it is really a commitment to the future of healthcare of the province,” he said. “When you think about the number of students that will go through this new campus over the next 50 or 70 years, the impact that it will have will be far reaching and tremendous.”

Rosia said the Time to Rise Campaign — which began with a $200 million commitment from the province last year — is gaining momentum. Since then, numerous donors have come on board, helping the school pass the halfway point of its goal.

“The project and the campus is becoming a reality now.”

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