Kwantlen receives the largest individual donation to the Richmond campus

Mon, Apr 16, 2012

For immediate release

Metro Vancouver, BC – (April 17, 2012) – Kwantlen Polytechnic University has received a $500,000 donation from George and Sylvia Melville to create the Melville Centre for Dialogue on Kwantlen's Richmond campus. This generous gift marks the single largest donation made in support of the Richmond Campus.

Melville is co-chairman and co-owner of Canada's number one casual dining chain, Boston Pizza International Inc. In 1973 Melville and his business partner, Jim Treliving became involved in Boston Pizza, and in 1983 they purchased the company. At that time Boston Pizza had 40 restaurant locations, but these visionary partners successfully expanded to more than 340 franchise locations across Canada. "I credit my success as an entrepreneur to the ever-present support and encouragement of my family," remarks Melville, "and my belief that great things can be achieved when we surround ourselves with great people."

Melville is an active supporter of the community and views this as an important part of his business. He is co-chair of the Boston Pizza Foundation, and since its inception they have raised more than $12 million for charities. He has also been an active volunteer on a variety of not-for-profit boards, including the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Board of Governors from 2003 to 2010.

"I am very proud to have served with George on the Kwantlen Board of Governors," commented Ken Hahn, chair of Kwantlen's Foundation. "He always brought great enthusiasm, expert business knowledge, and integrity; his conscientious approach always represented the best interests of the students and communities we served. On behalf of Kwantlen, we are grateful for his past service and this generous donation."

The Melville Centre for Dialogue will occupy 422 m2 of space on Kwantlen's Richmond Campus. This modern, flexible and functional meeting space will be capable of hosting groups of 50 to 250. The Centre will incorporate the most recent technologies and support services to ensure a perfect meeting and learning environment. Uses of the space will include conferences, workshops, seminars, professional and community development, continuing education, and university events, and will host more than 30,000 guests annually.

The Kwantlen Richmond Campus is currently undergoing a $5M renovation with this new Centre being a central component. "I am passionate about education and community responsibility, so supporting Kwantlen was a perfect fit for me," said Melville. "I am delighted that students and the community will be able to enjoy this new centre, and that the Melville name will be forever connected to Kwantlen."

"This commitment comes at an important time for Kwantlen," says Dr. John McKendry president and vice-chancellor of Kwantlen. "We are currently investing in a significant renovation of our Richmond Campus, and we know that this gift will act as a catalyst for further support."

The Kwantlen Foundation was established in 2000 and raises funds in support of the University's students, projects and programs.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for more than 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 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 17,500 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.


Photo caption: From left to right: Don Coulter, Vice-Chair, Kwantlen Foundation Board, John McKendry, Kwantlen President and Vice Chancellor, George Melville, Sylvia Melville, Jeff Norris, Kwantlen Chief Advancement Officer

For more information about the Kwantlen Foundation or to make a donation:
Call: 604.599.2010

For more information about Kwantlen, contact:
Joanne Saunders
Director, Marketing and Communications