UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 6 | April
Bank Gift Targets Students and Eastside Residents
HSBC donation matched by UBC to reach community goals.
By Judith Walker
It had all the usual trappings of a society event.
Chamber music played, glasses clinked and shutters clicked as
UBC accepted a $1.4 million dollar donation from HSBC Bank Canada
at UBC's Robson Square campus. Even the Vancouver Sun's society
columnist Malcom Parry was there and made it the lead item in his
But beneath the glitz, the real significance of the generous donation
will be felt among students with financial needs. A large portion
of the gift is earmarked to assist the Learning Exchange to offer
courses to Downtown Eastside residents.
Margo Fryer, director of the Learning Exchange, says more than
200 people, mostly residents of the Downtown Eastside, have so far
taken the 101 courses that UBC has been able to offer. The HSBC
gift will fund more such courses for low-income people. Fryer says
these courses are often bridges to new opportunities. "One
of the participants in Music Appreciation 101 said that the course
had given him back his dreams. The word graduates of these courses
have used over and over again is 'opportunity.'"
The bulk of the donation will also provide opportunities for other
students in the form of bursaries and scholarships.
The HSBC Bank Canada gift of $1.4 million, the single largest
contribution to UBC from a bank, will help the university realize
its community goals, President Martha Piper said March 19 as she
accepted a cheque from Martin Glynn, President and Chief Executive
Officer of HSBC Bank Canada.
"1.4 million dollars. Isn't that a nice number? But the truly
fabulous part of this gift rests not merely in its size, but in
its strategic direction. HSBC has been thoughtful in its giving,"
President Piper continued.
The gift, matched by UBC, will go toward four initiatives:
- $1 million will contribute to the physical structure of UBC
at Robson Square
- $200,000 will assist the Learning Exchange to offer courses
to Downtown Eastside residents
- $200,000 will go to the Liu Centre for the Study of Global Issues
for an HSBC Visiting Lecturer series at the Point Grey and Robson
- In addition, $700,000 will be endowed for HSBC scholarships
and $700,000 will be endowed for HSBC bursaries for UBC undergraduate
and graduate students.