Generous Donations Support Programming at Fanshawe's St. Thomas/Elgin Campus

February 15, 2013

Fanshawe College is delighted to announce it has received private donations totaling $585,000 to support programs at its St. Thomas/Elgin Campus. Two donations from the Estate of Dorothy Palmer will enable Fanshawe College to offer both Welding and Power Engineering training at the local campus.

The gifts were announced by local resident Andrew Gunn, who is trustee of the Estate of Dorothy Palmer.

The money will be used to provide equipment and curriculum development for the programs, enrich the quality of the Campus’s other post-secondary and apprenticeship programs and increase continuing education and contract training capacity for local industry.

"It’s very exciting for our Campus to have this new support,” said Ross Fair, Chair of the St. Thomas/Elgin Campus. “The availability of training in these areas at the local level will encourage students to pursue these programs and support the development of our local economy.”

Mr. Fair added that the Welding Lab will be open for September 2013, while the Power Engineering Program will follow at a later time.

“With these generous grants from the Estate of Dorothy Palmer, we will be able to start work on the Welding Lab this spring. Additionally, we will be developing new curriculum to support the offering of the Power Engineering program here in St. Thomas,” he added.

The new Welding Lab has been long-awaited by local industry said Jacqueline Charabin, a representative from Advance Manufacturing Technologies (AMTI) in St. Thomas. “AMTI fully supports Fanshawe’s goal to expand their welding program in the future as this will help local businesses, such as AMTI, find skilled welders,” she wrote in a letter to the College.

"We are proud to share in Mrs. Palmer's legacy by adding programs that provide opportunities in St. Thomas,” said Dr. Lane Trotter, Fanshawe's Senior Vice-President - Academic.

In addition to this major contribution, the College previously benefited from a gift from this Estate to create a new Renewable Energy Technician diploma program.

"Fanshawe is very grateful for the donations we have received from the Dorothy Palmer Estate,” said Catherine Finlayson, Executive Director, Fanshawe College Foundation. "These new programs will continue the fine legacy of education that was important to Mrs. Palmer throughout her career as a teacher.”

Dorothy Palmer was born in 1925 and was the only child of Fred and Ethel Ingram, who operated the “Elgin County House of Industry" from 1927-1942. A graduate of St. Thomas Collegiate Institute, she taught elementary school in Eden, Sparta, and St. Thomas. Mrs. Palmer lived her whole life as a resident of Elgin County. She died in June 2010.

Andrew Gunn, in his capacity as Trustee of the Estate of Dorothy Palmer, expressed his satisfaction with this new initiative. "With the establishment of the Welding Lab and Power Engineering programs at the St. Thomas/Elgin campus of Fanshawe College, there will be more local opportunities for students to pursue programs leading to successful careers. This has been a key goal of the funding provided by the Palmer Estate.”