Bill Welikoklad and his wife (centre)

Red Deer College receives $1-million donation

One man’s long association with Red Deer College, dating back to working in a hay field where the college now stands, has been further solidified with a $1-million donation.

One man’s long association with Red Deer College, dating back to working in a hay field where the college now stands, has been further solidified with a $1-million donation.

Bill and Irma Welikoklad donated the second largest single amount to the college. The donation was announced at a small ceremony on Monday.

Welikoklad had a hand in building the college — in 1966, he was the general foreman at the site when work began.

But long before the Red Deer man was pouring concrete, he was farming the land.

“I used to work in this hay field when I was 15, 16 years old when we used to cut hay off the place,” said Welikoklad.

Later, “I was the general foreman with six foremen under me. When we started (building RDC) it was a hay field.”

The college is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

And now the founder of Executive Homes, now operating as Home Building Centre, has made a major contribution to the college.

The $1-million donation will be used for a variety of projects, starting with $100,000 to the Welikoklad Family/Home Building Centre Endowment, which was established in 2010 after the Welikoklad family donated $250,000 to the college. The rest goes to what RDC president and CEO Joel Ward called projects deemed most beneficial to ensuring success of college learners, be it facility enhancement or development of new and existing programs.

“As we continue to expand and grow, and provide better facility for the teaching and learning experience,” said Ward, adding he hopes to announce some capital projects in September.

“A lot of that money will go to classroom rehabilitation, design and creating new learning space.”

The donation to the endowment will help fund scholarships and bursaries for students, Ward said. About one in seven students at RDC receives some form of financial assistance.

“I’d like to see it all put to good use,” said Welikoklad. “My first donation, I was very pleased the way it was handled. I like to know when you donate something it is appreciated. This is what makes me happy about Red Deer College, it’s all here and I think it is tremendously well run.”

In recognition of the donation, there will be a naming event later this year. College officials did not disclose many details, other than the inclusion of Welikoklad’s name and that they hope to have the event in the fall.

“We’re getting older and it’s time to leave a legacy,” said Welikoklad.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

BILD says not the time for higher permit fees in Red Deer

Construction industry is hard hit by slow economy

Bighorn Country telephone town hall for Red Deer area set for Wednesday

Residents can phone in from 6:30-7:30 p.m. to hear about the project or ask questions

Central Alberta real estate sales follow a familiar pattern

2018 house sale numbers mirror 2017 in central Alberta

Red Deer hospital settles dispute, welcomes neonatal nurse

A dispute over nursing levels at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s emergency… Continue reading

Drumheller-Stettler MLA quits UCP

Rick Strankman to sit as Independent

Lucic, Kassian each score twice to power Oilers in 7-2 win over Sabres

EDMONTON — Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian each scored a pair of… Continue reading

Big Valley family gives back to community

Donates $24,560 to Stettler Health Foundation and Edmonton Stollery Children’s Hospital

Giordano notches three points to lead Flames in 7-1 blowout of Coyotes

CALGARY — Flames captain Mark Giordano celebrated his 800th NHL game in… Continue reading

All-female team out to prove women racers aren’t a gimmick

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Every racing series in the world is full… Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’ final season to debut on April 14

NEW YORK — “Game of Thrones” fans, get ready. HBO announced Sunday… Continue reading

Kylie Jenner loses record for most-liked Instagram post

NEW YORK — Kylie Jenner’s birth announcement is no longer the most-liked… Continue reading

Study shows black bears need a variety of salmon species to be healthy

VANCOUVER — Black bears need access to different species of salmon rather… Continue reading

Trade war’s wounded: Companies improvise to dodge cost hikes

WASHINGTON — In Rochester, New York, a maker of furnaces for semiconductor… Continue reading

Most Read