Joyce Family Foundation $2.5M gift to create largest endowed bursary at Trent University

The Joyce Family Foundation announces the $2.5M gift to create Joyce Family Foundation Bursary to support Trent University undergraduate students who face socio-economic barriers to post-secondary education. Trent University

On Friday at Trent, foundation executive director Maureen O’Neill announced the Joyce Family Foundation Bursary Endowment Fund. It will be available to any undergraduate student with preference given to students who come from Peterborough (city or county), Durham region and Haliburton County, and who face socio-economic barriers to post-secondary education.

Formerly The Joyce Foundation, the Joyce Family Foundation is a private, family foundation created by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ron Joyce who died in 2019 at the age of 89. Joyce is best known for investing in the first Tim Hortons doughnut shop in Hamilton, Ont., in 1964.

The foundation’s primary focus is to provide access to education for children and youth with “significant financial need or facing other socio-economic barriers to success,” according to the foundation’s website.

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“Ron Joyce believed in hard work and the power of education to open doors and help meet potential,” said O’Neill.

“This gift is part of the board’s commitment to Ron Joyce’s legacy and genuine belief in youth to bring their talents and contributions into Canadian society.”

The university says the fund will provide annual bursaries of up to $5,000 for four students per year and will require each successful applicant to work with a mentor in an extracurricular activity throughout their program. The bursary, renewable up to a maximum of four years, is to be applied against the cost of tuition/fees and educational expenses.

Dr. Leo Groarke, Trent’s president and vice-chancellor, and Deborah Cooper-Burger, chair of the university board of governors, accepted the gift on behalf of the university.

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“This gift, which creates our largest fund for student aid, greatly enhances Trent University’s ability to support students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education,” said Groarke. “We thank the Joyce Family Foundation for changing lives and believing in local students who need a helping hand to pursue their dreams.”

The university says the bursaries connect its recent hiring of an enrolment adviser focused on access and inclusion. The adviser provides outreach and application support to potential students who may not consider post-secondary education to be an option. The university says its unique collegiate system will also anchor the bursary’s required mentorship, providing referrals and supports as needed.

“Thanks to this generous gift, we can now offer even greater support for an accessible education for all,” said Heather Crowley, acting university registrar. “We thank the Joyce Family Foundation for supporting students who face barriers as Trent helps guide them to becoming the leaders of tomorrow.”


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