Philanthropist recognized for vision and leadership in supporting education

Wed, Nov 17, 2010


Irving K. Barber
Irving K. Barber


For immediate release

November 18, 2010

Philanthropist recognized for vision and leadership in supporting education

(METRO VANCOUVER, B.C.) B.C. philanthropist and entrepreneur, Dr. Irving K. Barber, received the 2010 Giving Hearts Outstanding Philanthropists Award from the Vancouver chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Barber was honoured with this award yesterday, in recognition of his leadership, vision and unparalleled generosity in support of post-secondary education in British Columbia.

The Outstanding Philanthropist Award honours an individual or family with a proven record of exceptional generosity who, through direct financial support, has demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility, and whose generosity encourages others to take philanthropic leadership roles on a community, national and/or international level.

In his acceptance speech, Barber noted, “It’s not about the number of 0’s behind your donation but what’s in your heart that counts.” He attributed his success to focusing on three main priorities in life, “one, your family; two, your career to support your family; and three, doing something for society.”

Shortly after receiving his award, Barber stated, “It is truly an honour to be recognized and I’m proud to work with Kwantlen Polytechnic University on ensuring that educational opportunities are available to everyone who aspires to learn, grow and contribute to our communities.”

In addition to today’s award, Barber has received recognition for his significant achievements and community contribution, including: Officer of the Order of Canada, Order of British Columbia, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year and an honorary doctorate of laws degree from both the University of Northern B.C. and U.B.C.

He is widely recognized as one of Canada’s most prominent philanthropists and an ardent supporter of post-secondary education. Barber has contributed more than $52-million to B.C. universities to enhance the access and quality of education in the province. Earlier this year, he committed $2.5 million to Kwantlen Polytechnic University to establish the Irving K. Barber Endowment for Educational Opportunities, a fund specifically designed to ensure that all students—regardless of academic, geographical, cultural or economic background—have the access and support necessary to succeed in post-secondary education.

“Dr. Barber’s desire to see others achieve their dreams is truly inspiring. We are very fortunate to have found a partner with such passion for post-secondary education,” stated Jeff Norris, chief advancement officer, Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

As a leader in innovative and interdisciplinary education, Kwantlen Polytechnic University offers all learners, regardless of background and preparation, opportunities to achieve the highest standards of academic performance.

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