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By Emily Raben

A new building is in the works for the freshly minted Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, thanks to a $5 million donation from Jack Cockwell, a member of Ryerson’s Board of Governors.

“The absolute intention is to have an actual, physical school of nursing,” said President Sheldon Levy.

“Whether or not that will be in a larger medical sciences program has yet to be determined.”

The possibility of Ryerson offering a science program is being discussed, Levy said.

But new buildings and programs are expensive and it could be years before the project takes shape.

According to Levy, the building will cost $50 million and Ryerson will now look to the government for major funding.

But “we don’t have to sit waiting for every nickel and dime to come in.”

The donation propelled the project forward and Levy said the initial planning stages will begin immediately.

Right now, Ryerson is looking into land they own for a possible building site.

Jack Cockwell named the school in honour of his mother, a 93 year old nurse who served in World War II.

“The money will be used to give the nursing school decent facilities.” Cockwell said.

“Ryerson is a fantastic school, and the quality of practical education ensures jobs for students… so much more can be done.”

Rob Fraser, Vice President of the Nursing Course Union, said that nursing students are scattered around campus and desperately need their own building.

“We’re the largest school of nursing in Canada and also have the smallest space on campus. We’ve been tucked away and making due with what we have.”

Fraser knows he won’t be around to benefit directly from the donation, but is happy that his school is finally receiving attention.

“The upper years won’t see the result of the new money, but it’s bigger and better things for future students.”

According to Fraser, it’s a good thing that the school was named after a nurse and not just a sponsor.

Roxanne Fitzgerald, a second-year nursing student, likes the new name.

“The Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing is the first nursing school in Canada to be named after a nurse. This is a revolutionary event, which I think is unique and puts Ryerson ahead of the others.”

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