During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nanji family developed an even deeper appreciation for the vital role nurses play in caring for those most in need — in our hospitals, clinics and long-term care homes.
The family also saw how the pandemic had forced many nurses to leave the profession through burnout and exhaustion. They looked for a way to support the next generation of nurses during their academic studies.
Following a tour of Seneca’s nursing school this summer, the Nanji Foundation committed to a multi-million-dollar donation to the School of Nursing to support financial aid, simulation technology and community engagement.
The gift is the largest in Seneca’s history.
“Seneca is enormously grateful to the Nanji family for this transformational gift,” said President Agnew. “The positive impact of the family’s generosity will be felt by thousands of Seneca nursing students for generations to come.
“Not only will this gift help address the nursing shortage we are experiencing in Ontario’s healthcare system by financially assisting our students and ensuring they have the best possible facilities, it also affirms the high value of the nursing profession.”
The impact of this donation will be significant and long-lasting, creating an endowment to fund annual financial aid for 50 students in Seneca’s new Honours Bachelor of Science - Nursing degree program and 50 students in the Practical Nursing diploma program —100 bursaries a year in perpetuity.
The number 50 is significant to the Nanji family. This year marks the 50th anniversary of their arrival in Canada. They were forced to leave Uganda in the 1972 expulsion of Asians by Idi Amin. As refugees to Canada, the Nanjis built a successful packaging business and have become one of the most generous donors to Toronto-area hospitals and the University of Toronto.
“Our family has chosen to support nursing students at Seneca because of the importance of nurses to every aspect of the healthcare system,” said Pyarali G. Nanji. “No matter what procedure or treatment you have, a nurse is always involved. Helping to educate nurses is something we truly believe will make an impact on healthcare in Ontario and Canada.”
A portion of the Nanji Foundation’s donation will fund state-of-the-art simulation technology and an annual Nanji Scholarship For Nursing Excellence to honour outstanding students in Seneca’s nursing degree program. The remaining funds will be dedicated to a community challenge fund, encouraging other donors to support Seneca’s nursing students.
To celebrate the Nanji Foundation’s generosity, Seneca is proud to announce that the School of Nursing has been renamed the Seneca Nanji Foundation School of Nursing. It is the first Seneca school to be named in honour of a donor, reflecting the exceptional support the gift will provide to students and the impact it will have on healthcare for all Canadians.
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