The AOLS Educational Foundation is a registered charity (13456 8161). It was founded in 1973 by one of the Association's most well known and respected members. John Duncan Barnes, J.D. Barnes or Jack as he was known to many. Jack recognized that it was important for surveying practitioners to support students, acknowledge them for their academic achievements and encourage them to pursue a career in land surveying. His generous donation of $5000 became the base of the Educational Foundation's capital fund, which has grown to more than $400,000. The first Educational Foundation awards were presented in 1975 to students in the University of Toronto's Survey Science program.
Since 1975, The AOLS Educational Foundation has presented academic awards totaling more than $550,000 to more than four-hundred students. Over $45,000 is awarded each year to post-secondary students who have attained high academic achievement and possess evident characteristics of leadership and professionalism in Geomatics programs at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), York University, the University of Waterloo, the University of Toronto, Fanshawe College, Fleming College and Loyalist College. A considerable number of the award recipients were subsequently sworn in as Ontario Land Surveyors. For a listing of awards see Awards Programs.