The George and Helen Vari Foundation has donated $1 million to Nipissing University to establish the George and Helen Vari BIPOC Student Scholarship and Bursary Fund and the George and Helen Vari Simulation Fund.
The funds will provide ongoing, meaningful financial support to students who identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Colour, and will also support the University's soon-to-be constructed Simulation Centre and its related programming. In recognition of the gift, two simulation labs within the Simulation Centre will be named the George and Helen Vari Simulation Labs.
George and Helen Vari came to Canada after the 1956 Hungarian revolution. A civil engineer, George became a successful international real estate developer. Mr. Vari credited his education and the opportunities that Canada provided as the keys to his success, stating that “with an education and a country like Canada, you can do anything.”
Following her late husband’s footsteps, Mrs. Vari has been a lifelong supporter of education and is committed to ensuring students of all abilities and backgrounds have opportunities to study.
The George and Helen Vari Foundation was created in 1984 to promote education in Canada and cultural and educational exchange and has provided philanthropic gifts to a number of institutions across the country.
“My late husband George was a passionate advocate for education and its ability to transform lives. It is a privilege to be able to contribute to the success of Nipissing students and support them as they build their futures,” said Helen Vari, President of the George and Helen Vari Foundation.
“I recently had the opportunity to visit the Nipissing campus and was deeply inspired by its students, the future vision for the University, and the institution’s commitment to student success.”
Kevin Wamsley, Nipissing University's president and vice-chancellor, was humbled by the donation.
“The Vari Foundation’s continued support of education across the country is nothing short of inspiring and we are extremely grateful that Nipissing students will be beneficiaries of their generosity for years to come,” said Wamsley.
"This type of support changes lives. It improves access to education and enhances the student experience, ensuring our students are able to reach their full potential and give back to society in a meaningful way.”