Paul and Gerri Charette donate $600,000 to Centennial College
Former Bird Construction CEO and president Paul Charette and his wife Gerri have made a record donation to Centennial College to help establish a $1.2-million endowment to fund new scholarships in the college’s School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science.
The Charettes’ $600,000 donation to create the Paul and Gerri Charette Full-Tuition Scholarship is the single largest gift by individuals in Centennial’s history. The college will match the donation to complete the $1.2-million endowment. The full-tuition scholarship will be awarded to Centennial students in the Architectural Technology and Environmental Technology programs.
“We wish to recognize and reward deserving talent in the fields of architectural and environmental technology,” said Mr. Charette. “It is our responsibility to encourage students on their academic journey, and we want to ensure capable individuals who are motivated to enter these fields may do so unencumbered by the cost of education.”
In addition to giving to health, community and cultural organizations, the Charettes are committed supporters of education, particularly the community college system. The couple has a commendable history as Centennial College donors, with a keen interest in assisting students from families that have never had a member graduate from college or university. Mr. Charette, who serves on the Board of Directors of Colleges and Institutes Canada, attributes his career success to the education he received at Red River College in Manitoba.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the generosity the Charettes have shown towards Ontario’s first college,” said Ann Buller, Centennial’s president and CEO. “Their full-tuition scholarship – rare in the college sector – follows the recipients throughout their years in the program and creates a community of ‘Charette Scholars.’ There is no better legacy than one that instills success in others.”
For many students, the cost of education can stand in the way of attaining personal and career goals. With more than 90 per cent of Centennial students receiving some form of financial assistance, scholarships are crucial to helping students realize their career aspirations. The Charettes’ endowment supports Centennial College’s $50-million IMPACT Campaign to fund new scholarships, academic programs and capital projects.