Simon Fraser University just received the largest gift of its kind – not only for the Burnaby post secondary institution, but to a Canadian university – ever.
And it was donated to them by a Garibaldi Secondary grad and his family to establish a scholarship for students that will include equity-deserving groups.
Lance Uggla, who graduated from Garibaldi in 1979, and whose graduation picture adorns a hallway of the school, gave $34.1 million to SFU that will go to support 10 exceptional undergraduate students per year to study at the university.
The gift will establish the Uggla Family Scholarship for students who may not otherwise be able to afford a university education and will address issues like social mobility, equity, diversity and inclusion.
Students who become Uggla Family Scholars will demonstrate strong academic and leadership potential and will include those living with a disability, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, and those who identify as Indigenous, Black, or a person of colour.
The first group of students will carry out their studies in SFU’s Beedie School of Business or the Faculty of Applied Sciences. The innovative, new program will expand to other faculties in future years.
Uggla, who now resides in England, is chairman and CEO of London-based IHS Markit.
The company has more than 15,000 employees in 34 countries globally and embraces an entrepreneurial approach through shared ownership with its employees. It also has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions.
IHS Markit announced on Nov. 30 that it intended to merge with S&P Global.
Uggla is a graduate of SFU’s Beedie Business School of Business and received his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1985.
Uggla and his family are also committing £23.4 million for a similar initiative at the London School of Economics, LSE, where he earned his master’s degree. They are also supporting the university education of graduates from the Shitima School in Zambia.
Once fully rolled out, these three scholarship programs will enable a university education for 100 talented students across the world in any one year.
“I feel fortunate every single day that I have benefited from an excellent university education, and by enabling these scholarships in perpetuity it is my way of saying thank you to Simon Fraser University and LSE for giving me such a strong foundation for my career,” said Uggla.
“I am a father of four amazing children who are all building their careers from a similarly strong foundation. The Uggla Family Scholars that this program will support, all from less advantaged backgrounds, will equally be given the opportunity to excel in the years ahead. I am excited to get started and help the first students begin their journeys,” he added.
The first cohort of 10 students at each institution will begin in the fall of 2021, with new cohorts in the Uggla Family Scholars program beginning every fall term thereafter.
The program in Zambia will start in January 2021.
Not only will each scholarship cover tuition, fees, books, housing and expenses, but a comprehensive leadership program will provide co-curricular opportunities for personal growth and development, including financial management and wellness.
“We are inspired by and deeply grateful for the Uggla family’s profound vision to empower the future leaders our diverse communities need,” said SFU President Joy Johnson.
“This is truly a transformative gift that will help to change lives, advance society and enable SFU to continue its growth as a leading advocate of equity, diversity and inclusion.”
Uggla was chosen as the Ernst & Young UK Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012, and was recognized with SFU’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 2014.
He is a supporter of numerous charitable causes, primarily those focused on giving children a better start in life including Zamcog, a school in Zambia for street children which his family started, that today has more than 440 students.
The Uggla Family Foundation was established in April and was created to focus on education, health and access to arts.
More information on the Uggla Family Scholarship at SFU can be found at sfu.ca.