As we recognize education week, Dianne Spencer was very pleased to introduce the guest speaker at Rotary Club of Belleville, Mark Kirkpatrick, President and CEO of Loyalist College.  Mark joined the Loyalist team in 2005 as Director of Information Technology after working in manufacturing, insurance and financial service sectors.  In this role, Mark modernized the College's Information Technology Department and implemented a campus wide IT infrastructure to innovate and bring change across the college.  As Director of Facilities and then Senior Director of Infrastructure, Mark played a key role in planning the redevelopment of the campus inside and out.  In 2020 he joined the senior leadership team as Senior VP Corporate Services and CFO.  During the pandemic, Mark led the work at Loyalist to open the college facilities to accommodate COVID vaccinations for 50,000 individuals, people from our communities.  Mark became the 6th President and CEO of Loyalist College in March 2023.  Since then the changes at Loyalist have continued and they are remarkable, but it's not just about buildings.  It's about people and programs.  Loyalist is 47 years young this year and continues to provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn, grow and discover new pathways to develop their careers.  Mark Kirkpatrick has been an integral part of that over the past two decades and we look forward to hearing about what's going on today and what is next.
Mark Kirkpatrick's power point was entitled Loyalist College Moving Forward and Mark started off by sharing numbers.  Gross Revenue FY 23/24 $172 million.  Capital Investment FY 23/24 $40 million.  Number of employees 1000+.  Economic Impact Study for FY 21/22 on the region is $433.3 million, representing about 5,579 jobs supported or 3.6% of regional GDP.  Student spending in the region added $11.5 million in economic benefit.  Of this, $6.5 million is attributable to international students.  Over 7,000 students are enrolled across all locations and students are from over 40 different countries.  Port Hope campus is 21,500 sq. ft and Belleville campus is 750,000 sq. ft with over 600 residence beds (and more to come).  Loyalist College serves the communities of Lennox & Addington, Hastings, Prince Edward and Northumberland Counties with locations in Tyendinaga, Belleville, Bancroft, Port Hope and Toronto.
Loyalist College believes every student in our community has the right to a first class post-secondary education in a first class facility taught by first class faculty with first class services and without the need to travel to a major city.  Every business deserves access to first class workforce development and applied research opportunities to expand their operations.  This support should come from a post secondary institution within their communities, one that understands their unique needs because the college is here.
Mark spoke about the Community Speaker Series introduced at the College.  For $10 people can hear well-known speakers on a variety of interesting topics and the events are sold out!  Community Integration is partnering with local organizations such as the Belleville Senators, the Santa Claus Parade, cultural events on campus and in the community, military connections, working with local industries to upskill and teach skills to enhance local opportunities to expand, research with local business to help support the needs in the community, introducing an RN program so that students who train here will stay here.  Program such as Elevate Plus are available to people who need help to enter the workforce, teaching them jobs skills that guarantee job prospects.  This year donor-supported bursaries and scholarships were given to 435 students with a value of $601,760, last year 217 students received awards with a value of $347,825.
The campus is evolving with a new outdoor facade and gym, academic teams, a new Spa (Unwind), Maker Space and a new Health and Wellness space, culinary updates, Nourish Restaurant.  All in all, Mark bragged about having a great job and we can see why!  Mark was thanked by Rotarian Cristina Cadavid, a proud Loyalist College grad (pictured here with Mark Kirkpatrick).