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The Estate of Kerry Willoughby donates over $1 million to UOIT and Durham College students

OSHAWA, Ont. - Creating opportunities for students in education was very important to the late Kerry Ernest Willoughby, a former Oshawa resident. At a special reception held on campus today, Andy Lyons, executor of the Estate of Kerry Willoughby announced a $1.1 million donation on behalf of the family to support students' success at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College.

"In honour of his late wife Marjorie, Kerry pledged to help provide as many students as he could with an opportunity that they might not otherwise have to further their education," said Lyons.

The estate donation of $1.1 million has been matched by the Ontario Students Trust for Support II for a total contribution of $2.2 million. An endowed fund has been set up in the name of Marjorie Elizabeth Willoughby in order to provide financial assistance to qualified full-time students who are attending Durham College and UOIT, particularly those who are single parents.

"This incredibly generous gift will allow more college students to gain the valuable knowledge and skills needed to succeed in today's workplace," said Leah Myers, president of Durham College.

The Marjorie Elizabeth Willoughby Award will be given to students with a minimum average of 75 per cent who are entering or continuing their full-time studies at Durham College or UOIT. The awards are renewable each year during the student's program of study, as long as the minimum average is maintained.

"Having the tremendous support of people like the late Kerry Willoughby will open doors for more UOIT students to make a greater impact on society and build a better future through a strong foundation in postsecondary education," said Dr. Gary Polonsky, president of UOIT.

A total of nine awards will be given to UOIT students at a value of approximately $6,500 each; and 13 awards will be handed out to Durham College students at a value of approximately $3,000 each per year. Shivon Scott and Maureen Banton, students in the Collaborative Nursing program at Durham College and UOIT are the first recipients of The Marjorie Elizabeth Willoughby Award and attended today's reception to thank Lyons who made the announcement on behalf of the Willoughby family.

About the University of Ontario Institute of Technology
As the province's newest university, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology provides a unique combination of academic knowledge, vibrant student life, leading-edge research, and hands-on skills. As Ontario's first laptop-based university, UOIT offers career-focused undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of business and information technology, sciences, engineering, nursing, social science, and education.

The university is committed to research excellence and has attracted significant research grants and awards including a Tier 1 Research Chair. Sharing facilities and selected services with Durham College, UOIT has attracted over 3,000 students since its inception in 2003. To find out more, visit or call 905.721.8668.

About Durham College
For 38 years, Durham College has been committed to providing job-focused programs, accomplished professors, quality-driven innovation, student success and superior accountability. Durham College has ranked first in provincial indicators for student satisfaction in the GTA for six years running, and at an 89.7 per cent grad employment rate, Durham has the highest ranking of the six GTA colleges. The college has over 5,800 full-time and 23,000 part-time students enrolled in just under 100 programs, as well as about 2,000 apprentices. For more information, visit the website at, or call 905.721.2000.

About Ontario Tech University
A modern, forwarding-thinking university, Ontario Tech advances the discovery and application of knowledge to accelerate economic growth, regional development and social innovation. We inspire and equip our students and our graduates to make a positive impact in a tech-focused world. For us, it’s not only about developing the next tech breakthrough. Understanding and integrating the social and ethical implications of technology differentiates us as university. Learn more at

Media contact
Heather Middleton
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.721.8668 ext. 2197