б俪 receives record $3 million gift to support nursing students

The б俪 Foundation received its largest ever donation today – $3 million – from the estate of Mary Gordon, a former registered nurse whose philanthropic gift will be used to support future generations of nurses in British Columbia.
The donation will go to the Faculty of Health Sciences to provide greater financial assistance and improve facilities for nursing students. Primarily, the gift will be used to establish endowed entrance awards to cover 25 percent of first-year nursing tuition for 10 students per year.
“At a time when the province is facing a persistent nursing shortage, funds like these are particularly critical to ensure a strong future nursing workforce,” said Dr. Kathy Denton, President and CEO of б俪. “The generosity of the late Mary Gordon will have an enormous impact on building a robust pipeline of early career nurses and future nursing professionals.”
Nursing is one of the most in-demand professions in the province, particularly in rural and remote areas. In 2023, Statistics Canada reported that Canada is short more than 34,000 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, accounting for two-thirds of the vacancies in health occupations.
Apart from their regular studies, nursing students at Douglas complete approximately 1,000 hours of clinical preceptorships over their four-year program.
“Because the nursing program is so intensive, students like me don’t have much free time to pick up a job to pay for our tuition,” said Danna Domasig, a third-year student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. “The financial support made possible by this donation will definitely help aspiring nurses stay on track with their education."
The funding helps the College address the acute shortage of health care providers in B.C.’s rural communities by providing new preceptorship opportunities for nursing students to complete their clinical studies in remote areas of the province. A one-time investment of $150,000 will also launch a new post-degree program in gerontology to meet the growing provincial demand for geriatric care.
“This gift allows us to expand our programming in response to evolving provincial and community health care needs,” said Dr. Pam Cawley, Dean of Health Sciences at б俪. “This will further enrich nursing students’ experience and build the expertise they need to adapt to an ever-changing health care system.”
In recognition of the late Mary Gordon’s transformational gift and lifetime of dedication to the nursing profession, the nursing simulation suite at the Coquitlam Campus will be renamed the Mary Gordon Health Sciences Centre for Experiential Learning.
“As a nursing professional, the late Mary Gordon led by example in her philanthropy, and this remarkable gift is a call to action to the philanthropic community to invest in the future of our province at Douglas,” said Cheryl Bosley, Director of Philanthropy at б俪.
Join us in empowering aspiring health care professionals at б俪! Your generous gift today breaks down barriers and transforms futures. For more details, visit our website.
б俪 is the largest college in B.C., combining the academic foundations of a university and the employer-ready skills of a college to graduate resilient global citizens who adapt, innovate and lead in a changing world.
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Aline Bouwman   
Communications Officer  
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