As President and CEO of College of the Rockies for seven years, David Walls believes in the College’s mission to transform lives and enrich communities through the power of education. When the College held its inaugural Giving Tuesday campaign in December, 2019, he had a new way to give back.
David chose to contribute to the Practical Nursing in Ireland Field School, a week-long field trip embarked on by eight Practical Nursing (PN) students. The Field School provides a chance for PN students to observe nursing practices in a variety of settings, and explore similarities and differences in geriatric and end-of-life care in Canada and Ireland.
“The College is working toward growing opportunities for students to study abroad,” David said. “I feel that these experiences enhance the student experience and better prepare them for the real world. I am fortunate enough to have the ability to give back and feel especially compelled to do so during the holiday season. Post-secondary education is expensive – we hire talent and aim to outfit our buildings with state-of-the-art equipment to benefit our students. Contributing directly to an experiential learning opportunity for students just made sense to me.”
As he looks to retirement, David hopes to see community support for the College and its students continue. Through supporting the intercultural experience of PN students, he expects they will gain perspective that makes them highly competent nurses; he hopes they choose to remain in the East Kootenay after graduation.
“The College is positioned as an economic catalyst for the region,” he said. “More and more, our industry partners and our communities better understand the impact the College and its alumni have locally. Supporting students is meaningful and I hope this initiative takes off in all of our campus communities – tuition fees and support from government allows us to fund basic operations, but partnerships with the community and gifts from donors can help make us exceptional.”