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March 1, 2017

Beginning March 1, 2017, Fanshawe students and alumni will have an opportunity to cash in on their creativity by participating in the recently-announced William G. Davis Innovation Fund, a Colleges Ontario initiative launched to help mark the colleges' 50th anniversary celebrations in 2017.

"When we launched the Ontario college system 50 years ago, I had hoped that we would create a meaningful and rewarding system that prepares students for a broad range of careers," said the Honourable William G. Davis. "That hope was not only realized but surpassed. Today's colleges are preparing students for many of today's most challenging careers."

Photo of Bill Davis, Dr. C.M. Finlay and James Colvin
Minister of Education Bill Davis (left) with Dr. C.M. Finlay (member, Fanshawe Board of Governors) and Fanshawe's first president, Dr. James Colvin (right).

On June 14, 2007, Fanshawe College awarded an honorary diploma to former premier William G. Davis and welcomed him as the special guest speaker during the convocation ceremony for that year's Human and Community Services graduates. Davis served as Ontario's education minister from 1962 to 1971 and brought in the legislation that established the college system. The innovation fund, which encourages college students and alumni to pitch creative projects, is named in his honour as a tribute to the bold and creative thinking that revolutionized post-secondary education in Ontario.

"This new fund will promote some of the truly innovative ideas being developed at colleges throughout the province," he said. "It is truly an honour to have it established in my name."

Entrants can be graduates or current full-time students from Fanshawe or one of Ontario's 23 other colleges with an idea that could improve Ontario and beyond. Applications can be made in the categories of entrepreneurialism, health and welfare, arts and culture, or community benefit.

The first-place winner will receive $15,000 to help fund the project. The second-place entry will receive $5,000.

"At Fanshawe, we unlock potential through a promise to educate, engage, empower and excite in everything we do. This approach has led our students and alumni to demonstrate both innovative thinking and a bold entrepreneurial spirit," said Fanshawe President, Peter Devlin. "I'm excited to see the creative proposals that are pitched in this new contest."

The detailed timeline for submissions and voting, full contest rules and regulations are available online at http://www.collegesontario.org/news/news-releases/2017/0201_WilliamGDavisInnovationFund.html. Successful entries must be achievable, sustainable, measurable, original and linked to the individual's college experience.

Fanshawe students and alumni can begin posting proposals March 1, 2017. A shortlist of the top applications will be publicized in August and the winners will be announced in November.

Full details about the fund can be found here: http://www.collegesontario.org/news/news-releases/2017/0201_WilliamGDavisInnovationFund.html.

For further information about Fanshawe College, please contact Corporate Communications.

William G. Davis Innovation Fund Contest

Goal: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ontario Colleges by encouraging college students and alumni to pitch creative projects and initiatives that will compete for cash prizes.

Who: Any full-time student or graduate of one of Ontario's 24 colleges, who has an idea to transform our community or improve Ontario and beyond.

What: Applications are welcomed in four different categories: 1) entrepreneurialism; 2) health and welfare; 3) arts and culture; and 4) community benefit.

Successful entries must be achievable, sustainable, measurable, original, and linked to the individual's college experience.

The first-place winner will receive $15,000 to help fund the project. The second-place entry will receive $5,000.

Where: Reaching across the province, this fund supports innovative thinking and initiatives from aspiring visionaries, artists, humanitarians and entrepreneurs, who want to leverage their college education to start something amazing.

When: Students and alumni are invited to post online proposals from March 1st through May 30th. Preliminary online voting takes place from June 1st to July 31st and a shortlist of finalists will be publicized on August 15th. A final round of online voting is set from August 16th through November 5th, with winners announced on November 10th.

Why: As minister of education from 1962 to 1971, the Hon. William G. Davis played a vital role in creating Ontario's college system. To honour his legacy and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ontario colleges, this Innovation Fund has been named in Davis's honour, as a tribute to the bold and creative thinking that revolutionized post-secondary education in our province.

How: Shortlisted applications will be shared online, promoted on social media and voted on by the public. The voting results will be part of the criteria used by a panel of judges selected by Colleges Ontario to determine the ultimate winners.

Details on timeline for submissions, voting, full contest rules, and regulations are available online at http://www.collegesontario.org/news/news-releases/2017/0201_WilliamGDavisInnovationFund.html.