Media Release |
Oct. 22, 2004
$32.25 million announcement includes new Barber School of
Arts and Sciences at UBC Okanagan, Interface Program
KELOWNA – UBC alumnus Irving K. Barber, founding chairman
of Slocan Forest Products Ltd., today announced a $10 million
boost to the quality of undergraduate learning at UBC Okanagan
and throughout British Columbia.
Barber’s gift establishes two complementary components:
- The Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC
Okanagan to create a high quality undergraduate learning
- The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Interface Program
to deliver the School’s innovative learning approaches
to other post-secondary institutions throughout the province.
Barber’s contribution is coupled with the University
of British Columbia’s commitment to raise a further
$5 million to establish a permanent endowment of $15 million
to support both initiatives. In addition, Dr. Barber will
also provide up to $2.25 million to fund startup costs of
the two programs.
UBC Okanagan opens in Kelowna in September 2005 and will
grow from 3,000 to 7,500 students, including 500 graduate
students, by 2010.
The Province of B.C. has responded to Dr. Barber’s
generosity with a matching $15 million endowment that will
annually generate 150 Irving K. Barber B.C. Scholarships funded
at up to $5,000 each. These scholarships will assist students
attending a B.C. community college to transfer to a B.C. university.
“Dr. Barber’s vision -- smaller classes and
tutorials, novel curricula, creative methodologies, experiential
learning, community involvement and distinguished visitors
in residence -- is a hallmark of success at small private
universities like Princeton and the University of Chicago,”
UBC President Martha Piper said today. “Ike has presented
an unprecedented opportunity not otherwise available to publicly
“Ike Barber has once again demonstrated his vision
and commitment to B.C. and to opening up new education opportunities
for British Columbians, ” said B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell.
“The Province shares his commitment and we’re
proud to partner with him and with UBC to create a new scholarship
program that will help students across B.C. pursue their dreams
and build a bright future in our great province.”
“The establishment of the Irving K. Barber School of
Arts and Sciences at UBC Okanagan provides a unique opportunity
to create an undergraduate learning environment that is second
to none in B.C.,” Barber said. “My hope is that
this will in turn support students, educators, researchers
and lifelong learners throughout the province and around the
“The genius of his gift is that the Irving K. Barber
School of Arts and Sciences, in combination with the Learning
Centre Interface Program and the provincial scholarships,
will become a catalyst for improving the quality of undergraduate
learning not just at UBC Okanagan but throughout the entire
province,” Piper said.
Through the complementary Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
Interface Program, best learning practices from the School
of Arts and Sciences will be distributed to students and educators
throughout British Columbia via the Irving K. Barber Learning
Centre at UBC’s Vancouver campus.
Dr. Barber’s $20 million donation was the impetus to
establish the Learning Centre in 2002. The B.C. government
contributed $10 million, and those funds were matched by UBC
for a total of $60 million to create a major new facility
with a commitment to providing a 21st century learning experience
to the people of British Columbia and the world.
To date the Learning Centre, currently under construction,
has focused on sharing learning resources that include UBC’s
extensive library collection of 10 million items valued at
$1.6 billion and, along with a variety of partners, providing
programs via Webcasting. The Learning Centre will house the
first Canadian library installation of an automated retrieval
“Our mandate in the Okanagan,” said UBC Okanagan
Deputy Vice Chancellor Barry McBride, “is to establish
a world-class teaching and research-intensive university that
is distinctive in its academic programs, responsive to the
needs of the region and that attracts outstanding faculty
McBride is heading up a team of UBC and Okanagan University
College (OUC) members who are preparing for September 2005,
when OUC’s North Kelowna campus becomes UBC Okanagan.
At that time, OUC regional centres in South Kelowna, Penticton,
Vernon and Salmon Arm will form a new Okanagan College.
“The kind of undergraduate education that Dr. Barber
is enabling has never been more important in engaging students
and preparing them to be exceptional citizens who promote
the values of a civil and sustainable society,” McBride
version of the commemorative booklet produced for the
announcement, as well as archived
video of the event, is available.