Grade 8 students at Leamington's Queen of Peace Catholic Elementary got some stunning news at their graduation ceremony on Friday.

Stephen Fields, communications coordinator at the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, says "We were ecstatic when we heard the news that this anonymous donor had stepped up and made such a generous gift to help out these students go and pursue their education."

An anonymous donor has made $1.6 million available for the post-secondary education of the graduating class of 40 students.

Each student who chooses to participate is expected to receive $40,000 - or $10,000 per year over four years - toward their post-secondary education.

The only caveat is they must attend and graduate from Cardinal Carter Secondary in Leamington before moving on to the university of college of their choice.