Dr. Bikkar Lalli (right) and Arvinder S. Bubber, KPU chancellor
For immediate release
KPU Honours Dr. Bikkar Singh Lalli with Honourary Doctor of Laws
METRO VANCOUVER, BC – (June 16, 2011) – KPU awarded Dr. Bikkar Singh Lalli, a prominent figure in the South Asian community with an Honourary Doctor of Laws at the 2011 Convocation ceremony held on its Surrey campus.
Dr. Bikkar Singh Lalli's lifelong passion for education began quite by chance at age five. Being too small to assist with farm work, and to comply with a new government rule to enroll at least one child from the family in school, his grandfather suggested that Bikkar be sent to school. That accidental opportunity started a long and distinguished academic career.
Dr. Lalli received his M.A. in Mathematics from Punjab University and, while his wife and three young children remained in India, he completed a Ph.D. in Mathematics at UBC. His family joined him in Saskatoon where he had accepted a position at the University of Saskatchewan and he spent the next 29 years as a Mathematics professor and Head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics before retiring in 1996.
"I am honoured and humbled by this award from KPU. An opportunity for education has been a blessing that has opened many doors in my life for which I am truly grateful. What I would share with young people is to take a moment to look around at those in need. The gift of service is our life's purpose." states Dr Lalli.
Inspired by his father and grandfather, Bikkar Lalli is a strong advocate for education and health. As an elected member of the UBC Senate since 1999, he has served on its various academic sub-committees. He has also served on boards of other organizations, including the board of the College of Dental Technicians, KPU Foundation Board, KPU's Community University Research Alliance project, the Board of Directors of the Rainbow Community Health Cooperative, the Board for the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support and as a member of the City of Surrey's ‘Focus On Seniors' Sub-Committee. He has been a volunteer with the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House and the Sunset Seniors and a panel member of a Committee to Celebrate International Year of the Older Person. A member of the Early Childhood Development Committee of the DiverseCity, Dr. Lalli is an advocate of providing a ‘head start' in education for pre-school children in order to build a strong foundation for life.
A respected elder in the South Asian community, Dr. Lalli is often asked for guidance and support by students and seniors alike, who see him as a role model. At age 83 Dr. Bikkar Singh Lalli's hard work, perseverance, and pursuit of excellence is truly an inspiration, as he redefines ‘retirement' and ‘graceful ageing.'
KPU has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs including business, liberal arts and science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 17,000 students annually have a choice from over 135 programs including bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.
Photo 1 Caption: Dr. Bikkar Lalli (right) and Arvinder S. Bubber, KPU chancellor
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