Vancouver Island University's bursary program received a $500,000 gift from the estate of a local resident, the school has announced.
"If you are educated, you are free," read a quote attributed to the late Stanislaw Radzik, who passed away Aug. 26, 2011.
Officials at the school say the donation was made quietly by the family.
According to VIU, the average student graduates with about $30,000 in debt, a financial burden that can often prevent them from reaching their goals.
Bursaries are distributed to students that demonstrate financial need, as well as those meeting the criteria outlined by various funding programs.
Radzik's desire was to see his gift distributed in a relatively short period, rather than being used to collect interest and fund bursaries over time.
According to the school's president, the donation is one of the largest gifts VIU has received.