A major donation from the Dr. Sherman Jen Education Foundation will allow Kwantlen Polytechnic University to expand its applied research capacity. The $3-million gift will also support students pursuing global studies.
Dr. Sherman Jen founded Maple Leaf Educational Systems in 1995, blending the western curriculum and teaching methods with traditional Chinese approaches to education. It has since expanded to 115 schools spanning preschool to high school with a student population of more than 46,000.
Dr. Jen’s innovative educational leadership has been recognized by both Chinese and Canadian governments. Dr. Jen has also been recognized for his services to education and to cross-cultural understanding.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Jen and his team in the establishment of their high school at our Richmond campus,” said KPU President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Alan Davis. “Throughout this process, Dr. Jen has been a great friend to KPU, and I am delighted to announce this exciting new facet to our relationship.”
“MLES adheres to the philosophy of blending the best of China and the West in offering quality education, and is committed to the mission of providing an elite education to all students regardless of race, colour or nationality,” says Dr. Jen.
The donation will create an endowment, to be held by the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Foundation, that will be used to create two Sherman Jen Research Chairs. Each Research Chair will be allocated for a term of five years, renewable for an additional term. When they conclude, KPU will then be able to choose new Research Chairs in other key areas for many decades to come.
The inaugural chairs will be appointed in two very key areas for KPU: The Sherman Jen Research Chair in Next-Generation Design and The Sherman Jen Research Chair in Applied Genomics.
The endowment will also support 10 Sherman Jen Scholarships in Global Studies each year in studies abroad through field schools and studies at other universities.
This will support KPU’s commitment to embrace all cultures and advance global understanding.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Dr. Sherman Jen Education Foundation for this very generous donation to our KPU Foundation to support students and to support research,” said Davis. “This opportunity to expand our applied research capacity will be truly transformative for KPU. The scholarships will create tremendous opportunities for KPU students to embrace the opportunities of global studies both virtually and again in person once the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted.
“We also look forward to celebrating this donation in person with Dr. Jen when public health restrictions are lifted.”