Holland College | Andrew family donation to establish Centre of Excellence
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Andrew family donation to establish Centre of Excellence

A $2.6 million donation of a 12-acre property of environmental and historical significance will enable Holland College to establish the John and Christine Andrew Centre of Excellence in Watershed Management in East Royalty.

The property, which has been in the Andrew family for six generations, includes the family home, a barn, and a garage on 5.2 acres of land, Andrew’s Pond, and a four-acre old-growth Acadian forest in East Royalty featuring public walking trails. The property has been donated by Dr. John Alan Andrew, a radiologist in Victoria, B.C., and Dr. Melissa Andrew, a geriatrician in Halifax and a professor at Dalhousie University, and will be named after their parents, Drs. John and Christine Andrew.

The siblings said the donation fulfills the family’s wishes to ensure that the property’s history and environmental significance are recognized and protected.

"Two years ago, our parents gave us the historic Andrew's Mills property, where they live, and asked us to help determine its future. We soon realized that we all wanted to see the property used in a way that preserves and celebrates its historic past while being a benefit to the Island as a whole. Little did we know that Holland College had already started to develop a plan for a Center of Excellence for Watershed Management. Their plans fit perfectly with our family's hopes for the property, and we are excited to be able to donate our beloved property, enjoyed by six generations of the Andrew family, to Holland College." ~ Dr. John Alan Andrew and Dr. Melissa Andrew

The donation is the largest single gift in the history of the college. President Dr. Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald said the generosity of the Andrew family and their desire to ensure that the property remains protected, sustainable, and accessible to the public, is a tribute to their commitment to the environment and to the community.

“On behalf of the Holland College community, I thank Drs. John, Christine, Melissa. and Alan Andrew for seeing the possibilities that gifting this beautiful property to the college creates. Students from our Environmental Applied Science and Technology program and our Wildlife Conservation Technology program will be able to apply their newly-acquired skills in a unique applied learning environment,” he said.  “Students from other programs, such as Heritage Retrofit Carpentry, Energy Systems Engineering Technology, and Sport and Recreation Management will also benefit as the college develops the property as a Centre of Excellence.”

“We are tremendously grateful to the Andrew family for their unmatched generosity,” said Holland College Foundation Board Chair, Kent Scales. “Donors play a significant role in the growth and success of Holland College and its students. Their investments enrich teaching and learning, revitalize campuses, and ensure that students are supported through their educational journey.”

The property will be used for education, research, and activities that improve environmental and watershed sustainability. The college plans to partner with the federal and provincial governments and Island watershed groups to preserve and maintain the pond and forest.

Holland College will renovate the barn and garage for use as classroom and lab space for several college programs. The facilities will also be available for use by watershed groups, and the trails in the forest will continue to be available for use by the public.

The college is also working with the Andrew family to create a display of historical ice harvesting equipment that is located on the property.

In this picture: (L-R) Drs. Christine and John Andrew meet with Holland College president Dr. Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald on the property the Andrew family is donating to the college.

For more information about this release, please contact:
Sara Underwood, Media and Communications Officer
Tel: 902-566-9695
Date: Monday, December 13, 2021