Conestoga news

October 3, 2017 9:16 AM

Cowan Foundation pledges $4 million to support campus expansion

The Cowan Foundation is investing in the future of our community with a transformative gift of $4 million to support the expansion and redevelopment of Conestoga’s Waterloo campus.  

The gift is the single largest from a private donor in the college’s 50-year history and marks the launch of Transforming Together, a new initiative to help build a bright and prosperous future for individuals and businesses here in our region and beyond.

“We are deeply grateful for the leadership of The Cowan Foundation in supporting Conestoga’s efforts to address the needs of our growing community, foster innovation and create new opportunities for individuals to build the skills and knowledge that will contribute to successful careers, stronger businesses, and economic growth across our dynamic region,” said Conestoga president John Tibbits.

“Past experience has shown us the positive impact of an investment in Conestoga College,” explained Maureen Cowan, Chair of the Board of The Cowan Foundation. “They continue to create additional opportunities for students to achieve their academic goals by providing more pathways for people to seek post-secondary education, in a manner that is responsive to students’ changing needs and businesses and organizations’ demands.  We are extremely pleased to be able to support this next phase of the College’s evolution.”

The Cowan Foundation, started in 1995 in honour of Frank Cowan, the founder of Frank Cowan Company, is a valued partner of Conestoga and has been instrumental in the development of a number of other college facilities, including the Career Centre and the Cowan Health Sciences Centre.

The Foundation is sustained by the ongoing success of the Princeton Holdings group of companies including Cowan Insurance Group (and its subsidiaries: The Williamson Group, Millennium CreditRisk Management, Wentworth Financial Services and Cowan Financial Solutions), Frank Cowan Company, The Guarantee Company of North America and Cowan Asset Management. Together they provide insurance and risk management products and services for individuals, businesses, organizations and public entities as well as assist employers with their group benefits, retirement and health and disability management plans.  For more information, visit

Conestoga’s Waterloo campus expansion, to be completed in Spring 2018, includes the addition of more than 150,000 square feet to the main campus building as well as substantial renovations to the existing space. It will serve 3,000 additional full-time students as well as many more part-time learners and clients working to develop new skills for career and life success.

The project includes the development of three primary components. A new Institute for Culinary & Hospitality Management will greatly expand capacity for programming and applied research. The Centre for Advanced Learning will focus on the delivery of new and expanded programming for information and communications technology and other high-demand areas. A new Access Hub will provide students, newcomers to Canada, job seekers and area employers with access to information, programs and services in a single location.

Support for the project has been provided by the Government of Ontario and by the Government of Canada through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.

For more information, visit