Sobey Family expands access to education with $6.5M philanthropic investment at NSCC; the largest in NSCC’s history

September 21, 2017 – Media Release


Halifax, NS –The Donald R. Sobey Foundation, The Sobey Foundation, and Frank, Heather, Karl and Ann Sobey will collectively contribute $6.5M to empower generations of Nova Scotia Community College students through socio-economic transformation. Building upon an existing partnership between the Sobeys and NSCC, these new strategic investments will establish a broad legacy around access to education for all Nova Scotians.

A $4-millon gift from the Donald R. Sobey Foundation will directly recruit and assist individuals who are facing barriers to attaining a post-secondary education. Working in partnership with community agencies and law-enforcement organizations from across Nova Scotia, the Donald R. Sobey Foundation Fund at NSCC will enable individuals who have never considered a college education an attainable goal. The first Donald R. Sobey Foundation Bursaries will be funded through a personal gift provided by Rob Sobey. Once the endowment fund is fully implemented, more than 80 bursaries valued at $2,000 each, will be provided annually to individuals referred to NSCC by community agencies working in this space.

“By providing individuals who face barriers an opportunity to access a college education, we hope to enhance their path to employment and independence,” says Donald Sobey. 

“We are making this investment because we believe education has the power to transform lives. We have chosen to work with community and law enforcement organizations across the province to break down the barriers to entry that have left people behind for generations. Identifying and recruiting talented young people at the grassroots level ensures we will make the biggest impact possible.”

A $2-million gift from the Sobey Foundation will evolve food-services education at NSCC. It will support NSCC’s refurbishment of Sobeys Culinary Centres at six campuses across Nova Scotia. The gift will also provide a dedicated fund to finance bursaries for students who choose to study Culinary Arts at NSCC.

“Over the past 12 years, more than 2,300 students have honed their hospitality skills in Sobeys Culinary Centres at NSCC,” says Frank Sobey, Sobey Foundation Chair. “These talented graduates contribute to our province’s economy through their work in commercial kitchens and dining rooms across the province. If we’re to grow our tourism and hospitality sector here, we need culinary professionals.”

A $500,000 gift from Frank, Heather, Karl and Ann Sobey will establish a legacy of access to education in memory of their parents, Doe and Bill Sobey. Students in financial need who are studying at NSCC’s Marconi & Pictou Campuses can apply for the Doe and Bill Sobey Inspiration Awards to help cover tuition and related college expenses.

The children of Doe and Bill Sobey have chosen to target access to opportunity at these two NSCC campuses to ensure that regions of the province important to their parents are able to attract and retain skilled and knowledgeable workers.

“The generosity of the Sobey Family will make an extraordinary impact on those who wish to embrace and benefit from post-secondary education,” says NSCC President Don Bureaux. “Their support will serve as a catalyst, making a new beginning possible for deserving students in need. As NSCC starts a new school year, the timing of this commitment is inspiring.”

About Nova Scotia Community College

NSCC is committed to building Nova Scotia's economy and quality of life through education and innovation. Serving the province through a network of 13 campuses, the College offers 120+ programs in five academic schools — Access, Business, IT & Creative Industries, Health & Human Services, and Trades & Technology — reflecting labour market needs and opportunities in Nova Scotia. NSCC's primary goal: student success. In an annual survey of its graduates, the College has found 87% are employed, most in their field of choice, with 92% of those employed living and working in Nova Scotia.

For more information, and photos, please contact:

Skana Gee, Communications Advisor
NSCC Foundation & Alumni Relations
902-491-3214 (o)
902-223-5234 (c)

Kathleen Cameron, Manager, External Relations
Nova Scotia Community College
902-491-4899 (o)