News and Events

MHC receives $2.2 million donation

September 21, 2012

Medicine Hat College recognized its largest single donation in history today with the announcement of a $2.2 million bequest that will benefit the Division of Health Studies.

Ron Rodgers left the generous gift in memory of his wife Willma prior to his passing in 2011. The donation came as a surprise to MHC’s foundation, as Rodgers had left no prior indication to the foundation office of a planned bequest.

Willma, his wife of 33 years, passed away more than a decade ago but he never forgot his commitment to honour her with a lasting legacy. The money will be used as an endowment and the interest earned will go towards assisting students with bursaries and programming costs within the division.

“I kept reading the documents thinking ‘WOW! What a generous gift from an amazing man,” said Deanna Haysom, fund development officer.

But for Rodgers’ niece Jennifer Ericson, the legacy donation couldn’t be more fitting for a “quiet, gentle man whose wife was the light of his life.”

“He was very proud of Willma’s career in nursing. She worked hard and was successful in her nursing career in an era when many women left the workplace once they married,” said Ericson. 

They settled in Manitoba and lived a happily married life for more than 30 years. In the early 1990s they retired to Medicine Hat until Willma’s passing from ovarian cancer in 1999 at the young age 65. Ericson said Ron never got over the loss of Willma. He passed away last year at the age of 89.

“He worked hard throughout his life and was not extravagant – he always lived within his means and saved for the future,” Ericson recalled of her uncle. “I know Ron will have had a great deal of comfort before he died knowing about his gift in Willma’s name – for him that would have been priceless.”