Massive donation from late Brock chair to the Niagara Community Foundation


The David S. Howes Estate has donated $18 million to the Niagara Community Foundation in order to improve post-secondary education, health care services, education and facilities and humanitarian issues. Howes was  an incredibly positive force to bolster both his community and Brock University. He spent 12 years on Brock’s Board of Trustees and personally oversaw Brock’s community growth.

Howes who ran Lincoln Fabrics in Port Dalhousie, passed away in 2015 and was described by former President of Brock Jack Lightstone as “living and breathing Brock University in every aspect of his being.”

Almost any student who has attended the school since 2001 is also highly familiar with at the very least, his name. The previously named Faculty of Education Theatre or the Playhouse Theatre has since been lovingly referred to as the David S. Howes Theatre. The name was changed in order to honour the man for spending 12 years on the board of trustees and becoming the chair of that board for a large amount of time. He was truly an inspirational force of will when it came to the development of Brock and the area around it.

This recent donation is another example of the massive amount of support given from his estate to the community. While it will be split up among the aforementioned divisions of the Niagara Community Foundation, the chairman of the NCF has described the donation as “a transformational gift”.

Watson went on to explain the way in which this donation came about, stating that in 2014 they were given a donation of $100,000 as a sort of test as to how they could use the estate of Howes to positively impact the community. Watson believes that he and the NCF have clearly proven themselves worthy of using this money in order to positively change the community in tangible ways.

The Executive Director of the NCF, Bryan Rose, stated that this will allow the foundation to ascend to the next level as far as their operational capabilities from this point forward. It’s clear however, that following this donation the NCF believes they will be able to take the next step in establishing much more support for the Niagara region and its residents.

The portion of the donation that is designated for Brock will be given to the board of trustees to be decided upon where this money shall go and what should be done with it. Brock is already seeing major construction projects very recently: the Brock Link, an addition to the Goodman School of Business and fairly recently the statue in the bus rotunda of Sir Isaac Brock was erected. It was Howes who had commissioned the statue’s construction in the first place. Through his overwhelmingly massive contributions to the school he was given an honorary doctorate.

Howes is survived by his wife and their children. He was an honorary doctor and a figure that will live on through Brock as long as the school exists. The school would not be what it is today had his contributions not been made and it has positively impacted every student who has entered the halls of this university since he decided that he could help make a positive change. Hopefully, the NCF does the same for the Niagara community with the money granted to them from the estate. While plans for the donation and Brock have not yet been announced, but the Brock Press will be here to break the news when it does happen.

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