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Ƶ past president honoured with named space at North Hill campus

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Rena and Brent Mills
Rena and Brent Mills

Ƶ College has named the private dining room, located in the historic Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts building, in honour of past college president Brent Mills and his wife Rena. This dedication recognizes the couple’s continuous support for the college.

Brent and Rena Mills spent the majority of their adult and working lives in and around Brandon, where they raised their three children. Both were active members of the community, making substantial contributions through their professional and volunteer work. Their most recent contribution of $100,000 to the college signals their continued support for the college and community.

Brent served as the president of Ƶ College from 1998 until 2006. During his tenure, he played a pivotal role in advancing the college’s Brandon presence, where he initiated the move to the North Hill campus.

He also reintroduced the athletics program at the college in 2000 after support for collegiate athletics halted in 1986 due to government cost-saving measures. He and his wife Rena remain major supporters of the Cougars Athletics program.

“Brent’s leadership as president made an impact on the college that we continue to experience today,” said Ƶ President, Mark Frison. “His dedication to the expansion of our Brandon campuses, re-igniting the athletics program, and introducing the concept of rural rotating programs enhanced the college experience for our students, athletes, and communities, giving them space to thrive. We are grateful for the continued support from Brent and Rena.”

In addition to his presidency at Ƶ, Brent’s career in Brandon included roles as a teacher, lawyer, and CEO of Cando Rail Services. He also held positions as Chair of both the Brandon Family Y and Brandon University Board of Governors. Rena Mills spent her career teaching within the Brandon School Division, and retired once their grandchildren started arriving. She was an inspiring educator, an active community member and a tireless volunteer. Through her passion and dedication, Rena left her mark on countless organizations, people and projects in Brandon and area.

Reflecting on his time and impact at Ƶ College, Brent stated, “My eight or nine years at Ƶ were a highlight of my working years and I am really impressed by the growth and development of the College since my departure. We hope that our donation will assist the college, in some small way, to continue that development.”

The couple now reside in Calgary to be close to family and return to Manitoba to spend the summer months at their cabin at Clear Lake.