The fortieth anniversary celebration at Loyalist College on March 27 included the announcement of a $40,000 endowment fund to provide a bursary for a student attending Loyalist College – and it was established by a 1982 Radio Broadcasting Grad, Erin Davis. Erin is the popular co-host of the morning show with 98.1 CHFI Radio in Toronto.
Her donation of $20,000 will be matched by the provincial government’s Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS) program and will provide an annual bursary of $1,000, presented to a deserving individual who typifies the significant strides women have made in the Radio industry. The Erin Davis – Women in Media Award has been created to celebrate women in broadcasting.
“I’ve never forgotten the place that gave me my real start in radio, and that was the community college in Belleville, Ontario,” she said. “I love to tell the story of how I happened to hook up with the radio broadcasting course at Loyalist … I was 17, in grade thirteen at Nicholson Catholic College, and had no idea what I wanted to do for a living. It was April and we were all bussed to a Careers Day at which we signed up to hear different speakers. Since I got there late, the two speakers I tried to get in to hear, were totally booked. So I ended up hearing Bryan Olney, a prof from the local community college, talk about radio. As he spoke, I felt like I was hit by lightning! I started school in September and then landed a weekend radio job in November. It became full-time the following summer so by second year at Loyalist I was going to school in the mornings, I was on the air in the afternoon and early evening at CIGL (now “Mix 97” in Belleville) and finished off some nights playing piano at a French restaurant across the street … I loved my time at Loyalist.”
“Today we’re announcing an annual bursary of $1,000 to be given in my name to a woman of talent, need and strong academic achievement. Loyalist will begin awarding it this fall. Rob and I decided to establish and bankroll this award, as a way not only to give back to Loyalist, but in hopes of providing more young women with chances to make a difference in the media in general and hopefully in radio in particular. I paid my own tuition in those two years of college after Dad’s career in aviation stalled. I hope this helps someone else to pay hers, too. So with this bursary, Rob and I are just trying hard to help give a young woman her break, too. And who knows? Maybe one day, you’ll wake up to her voice.”
“This donation is truly remarkable,” said Loyalist College President Maureen Piercy. “We are so very proud of our graduates, and Erin personifies what it means to give back to your community, and in this case, your college community. We thank her very much for this very generous gift which will keep on giving to students throughout the future.” Foundation Chair June Surgey added her appreciation. “Establishing a $40,000 endowment fund during the 40th Anniversary year of the College is reason to celebrate. This gift is a wonderful example of the difference that one individual can make in the lives of others.”
Media Contact: Dianne Spencer, College Advancement & External Relations, (613) 969-1913, ext. 2235