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Peter Gzowski College Receives Generous Donation from David Morton and Patricia Owens Morton

$250,000 gift to fund lecture hall and endowed scholarship for Native Studies graduate students

April 29, 2004, Peterborough

A generous donation of $250,000 by David Morton and Patricia Owens Morton of Peterborough, Ontario, will fund two initiatives at Trent University: the construction of the Morton Owens Lecture Hall in the First Peoples House of Learning at the new Peter Gzowski College, and an endowed scholarship to support a Native Studies graduate student.

Remarking upon the reason for their gift, David Morton stated: "I have always had a great admiration for Trent University... its goals, its dreams and its values... much of which I have learned first hand through Patricia's long involvement at Trent as a Professor. Of course, like millions of other Canadians, I also had tremendous respect and affection for the late Peter Gzowski who was a great Canadian, a great human being and, I am proud to say, a cherished friend. Peter always expressed his great affection for Trent both publicly and privately, and consequently, it is very gratifying for Patricia and me to be able to both assist Trent and at the same time honour Peter Gzowski by playing a part in establishing a College in his name at the University he loved so much."

Patricia Morton added that: "It is exciting to see the special association of the College with Native Studies, which exemplifies Peter Gzowski's vision of a Canada enriched by a diversity of peoples and cultures. The establishment of a graduate scholarship in Native Studies also reflects our conviction that because history has by no means been kind or fair to First Nations peoples it is important that they be provided with real opportunities and hope. For that reason too, we feel that it is appropriate that the new Lecture Hall's naming be inclusive of the Nishinaabe word for 'hope': Bgwasendamowin."

This leading gift to the University is a prelude to the launch of a nation-wide fundraising campaign to help support the construction of the new Peter Gzowski College and the First Peoples House of Learning slated for official opening on October 16, 2004.

News of the donation was announced today at a ceremony held at the new college attended by the Mortons, as well as by officials from the University, students and faculty from the Native Studies department and members of Trent's Board of Governors.

Located in the First Peoples House of Learning, the new Morton Owens Lecture Hall will include the Nishinaabe name 'Bgwasendamowin' (bgwa/sen/da/mo/win), meaning literally 'the art of hoping'. The 135-seat hall is over 2,300 square feet in size and is pre-wired for the adaptation of new projection and computer technology to be used in the delivery of lectures.

Included in the gift is $100,000 to establish the Morton Scholarship to be awarded to a deserving student in the Native Studies graduate program. The annual interest from this endowed gift will be doubly matched by the Ontario Graduate Scholarship program, creating an annual $15,000 scholarship in perpetuity.

Bonnie Patterson, President and Vice-Chancellor, expressed enormous gratitude for the Morton's extraordinary leadership and generosity. "The University has been fortunate to have the Mortons' ongoing support and Prof. Morton's expertise as a member of our faculty," said Patterson. "Both Pat and Dave had a deep friendship with Peter Gzowski and they have a strong desire to see the advancement of Trent and Aboriginal students. Their generous gift will go a long way to support the college project in Peter's name and the needs of our students. The University and the citizens of Peterborough are fortunate to have Pat and Dave's caring community leadership."

As a token of the University's appreciation, the Morton family was presented with a framed and signed copy of 'Sirmilik Hoodoos,' a limited-edition print of the Canadian arctic photographed by Dr. Roberta Bondar, Chancellor of Trent University.

Trent University holds the distinction of being the first university in Canada to create a Native Studies program and the first to establish a Ph.D. program in Native Studies. In 2003, the University was ranked number one for quality of education by the Globe and Mail, hailed as the 'Undergraduate Research University of the Year' in a survey published in the National Post, and placed first in Ontario in the Maclean's magazine ranking of primarily undergraduate Canadian universities.

For further information, please contact:

Don Cumming, Senior Director, Public Affairs, Trent University (705) 748-1011, ext. 1224


David Morton and Patricia Owens Morton

Peter Gzowski College

Patricia Morton, professor emerita, retired from Trent University after 26 years of service in 2002. Prof. Morton is the author of numerous published historical essays and the book Disfigured Images: The Historical Assault on African American Women. She is also an accomplished editor, notably editing Discovering the Woman in Slavery: Emancipating Perspectives on the American Past in 1996. Her teaching expertise includes modern Britain, U.S. history and American slavery. An active member in the community, she has served in numerous capacities with the Peterborough Planning Board, the Lakefield Planning Committee and the Lakefield Marsh Association. Her service to the University community has included contributions to the Faculty Association and numerous system-wide and departmental committees, as well as the role of Senior Tutor at Lady Eaton College.

David Morton is a retired president and CEO of Quaker Oats Canada Limited and is recognized as a leader within the food industry. He has served the community in numerous volunteer capacities including as vice-chair of the Festival of Lights Board, member of the Peter Gzowski golf tournament for literacy fundraising committee, board member for Frontier College, and chair of the board for Five Counties Children's Centre. He has been a member of the Schulich School of Business Advisory Council, ABC Canada Literacy Foundation, Business Council on National Issues, and has served as vice-chair and governor of Sir Sandford Fleming College, and chair of the Capital Campaign for the Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

In 1994 Mr. Morton received recognition from the City of Peterborough for his contributions to the Planning Board and is the recipient of the 1994 Outstanding Public Contribution Award from York University. In recognition of his efforts to raise $14 million for a new hospital in Peterborough, Mr. Morton was appointed to the Board of the Greater Peterborough Economic Development Corporation in 2001 and was presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award by the City of Peterborough in 2002. Also in 2002, Mr. Morton received an honorary doctorate degree from Trent University. A founding member of the Peterborough Partnership Group that supported the creation of the DNA Cluster concept for Peterborough, Mr. Morton has also taught courses for Trent's Business Administration program.

At present, Mr. Morton is a Cabinet Member for the Peter Gzowski College Campaign.


A broadcaster, author and journalist, Peter Gzowski became the eighth Chancellor of Trent University in July, 1999. In November of 2001, Trent announced that Gzowski had been reappointed to another three year term for the period July 2002 to June 2005. Commenting on the renewal of his term, Gzowski stated that Trent was "important to me when I had the honour of first taking this job and it's grown more important to me every year. I am thrilled and honoured again to be a part of this special university."

Peter Gzowski College and the First Peoples House of Learning are intertwined in a $34.8 million integrated facility known as Enweying, which means 'The way we speak together' in Nishinaabe. The new college continues Trent's tradition of delivering social and academic programming through a residential college setting. The facility includes a 250-bed residence for student accommodation and conferencing, two lecture halls, a 100-seat performance space, a 60-seat case study room and eight smaller classrooms. The building provides 43,355 square feet of residence space and 34,600 square feet of academic space, including the Office of Research and Graduate Studies and the departments of Business Administration, Economics, and Mathematics, as well as the First Peoples House of Learning in which Trent's Native Studies department is prominently established.

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