Stewart family invests in health at Okanagan College

College gets financial help

Okanagan College is $50,000 richer thanks to the generosity of the Stewart family.

The money is being donated on behalf of Rosemary and Richard “Dick” Stewart and will be used to support the education of health care professionals at Okanagan College.

Dick, a founder of Quails’ Gate Estate Winery and Kelowna city councillor, passed away nearly one year ago at the age of 94. Dick's son, Ben Stewart, MLA for Kelowna West, says the gift reflects his father’s passion for education.

“My dad believed education creates opportunities for people to lead independent and fulfilling lives,” says Ben. “He saw education as a transformative investment.”

Dick Stewart is also remembered for giving back to the community, including Okanagan College. Back in the 1990's, Dick volunteered on the Bold Horizons campaign to create a new vision for Okanagan University College and also served on OUC’s Board of Governors.

“He was never one to sit on the sidelines. If he believed in something he would get involved. That’s the way he lived his whole life,” says Ben.

Rosemary is happy to see her husband’s legacy honoured.

“He did a lot for the city because it meant it a lot to him,” says Rosemary.

“Anytime he was asked to go out and raise money he got his shoes on and went. He did it because he loved his community.”

The Stewart family gift will go towards support a student study lounge on the third floor of the Health Sciences Centre which overlooks one of Dick’s earlier orchards.

Amy Lausman, a first year nursing student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program says she's inspired to see people giving even during the pandemic.

“It's amazing to see the support from community and that they value us as students going into health care professions,” says Lausman.

The Okanagan College Foundation is now $1.5 million away from meeting its fundraising goal for the Health Sciences Centre.

More Kelowna News