Last week’s announcement of the $30 million gift from the Barrett Family Foundation marks the largest donation made to an Ontario college. With this gift, the Foundation’s donation to Humber totals $42 million. This transformational gift, offered over 15 years, includes support for 100 student scholarships each year, new, innovative programming, and activities within the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation (CTI).
Bob Barrett is the president and CEO of Polytainers and founded the Barrett Family Foundation along with his wife, Francine Rouleau-Barrett, and his daughters, Kim and Rebecca. Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to get to know Bob, Francine, Kim and Rebecca. Through many conversations, I have come to understand Bob’s commitment to giving back and his profound belief in the value of post-secondary education. In addition to Humber, this extends to the Foundation’s partnerships with other post-secondary institutions in Ontario and the United States, and to his own employees, as Polytainers Inc. grants scholarships to the children of employees annually.
During last week’s gift announcement, Bob shared the influence his father's lifetime of philanthropy has had on him. We also heard from Mikael Mitchell, a second semester Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Technician diploma student, about the Foundation's positive impact on his life and post-secondary journey. Our students and their stories are at the heart of the Foundation’s gift. Many describe their courageous journeys to overcome socioeconomic, personal or geopolitical challenges as they strive to complete their post-secondary education.
I am particularly appreciative for the many ways this gift will impact the Academic Division. The Barrett CTI is one of five in our Centres of Innovation network, and partners like the Barrett Family Foundation have helped bring our network to life by providing vital real-world experiences for Humber learners. The Foundation’s gift will enable the work of the Barrett CTI to continue to grow as we lead in the province, nationally and globally, and as we transform the ways in which we teach and partner with industry, all of which will differentiate the experience of our students.
Bob, Francine, Kim and Rebecca, I am grateful for the Barrett Family Foundation’s tremendous support to Humber and the impact it will have on the lives of students now and for generations to come. Thank you for your belief in the transformational power of post-secondary education and your confidence in Humber’s ability to deliver on that promise.