Kwantlen Polytechnic University has renamed its business school to the Melville School of Business to recognize a historic donation from philanthropists George and Sylvia Melville.
George Melville, who co-founded Boston Pizza International Inc., and his wife Sylvia are gifting $8 million to KPU over four years to create tremendous opportunities for students.
"Sylvia and I are very proud to be able to make this investment in the future of the KPU School of Business,” says George Melville, who served as KPU’s second chancellor from 2014 to 2020. “Our hope is that the Advanced Teaching and Learning Fund will enhance the educational experience for students for many years to come. There are also funds for scholarships and bursaries, which will make KPU’s excellent business program more accessible to students than ever before.”
“This very generous gift will create tremendous opportunities for students and faculty, and will significantly enhance the reputation of both the business school and KPU,” says Dr. Alan Davis, president and vice-chancellor of KPU. “George Melville’s sterling reputation as a business leader, philanthropist and community builder will be a tremendous asset as we continue to shape exceptional entrepreneurs who graduate ready to work, willing to learn and poised to lead.”
The Melvilles’ donation includes:
- $3 million to establish the Melville School of Business Advanced Teaching and Learning Technology Fund, which will provide students with the most up-to-date teaching technology and equipment used in business and industry;
- $2 million to create the Melville School of Business Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will provide $100,000 in scholarships annually for undergraduate business students;
- $1 million to establish the Melville School of Business Endowed Bursary Fund, which will provide $50,000 annually for bursaries for undergraduate business students;
- $1 million to create the Melville School of Business Endowed Scholarship Fund for post- baccalaureate students, which will provide $50,000 for scholarships for post-baccalaureate business students;
- $500,000 for the Melville School of Business Endowed Case Competition Fund, which will provide $25,000 annually to support business students taking part in case competitions;
- $450,000 to create the Melville School of Business Incubator Fund, which will provide the necessary seed funding to launch and support operations of the Melville School of Business Venture Fund;
- $50,000 for the Melville School of Business Activation Fund, which will support the rebranding of the Melville School of Business.
The Melvilles previously donated $500,000 to create the Melville Centre for Dialogue at KPU’s Richmond campus. They have also donated millions to organizations in British Columbia, including the Union Gospel Mission, Surrey Memorial Hospital, Peace Arch Hospital, St. Paul’s IBD Centre, Covenant House and the Rick Hansen Foundation.
“George and Sylvia Melville are true community builders and have been champions of KPU for many years,” says Kelly Finlay, chair of the board of directors of the KPU Foundation, which raises funds to create quality, life-long learning opportunities for KPU students to achieve personal, social and career success.
“Both their children attended KPU and their passion for this university comes from witnessing directly how big an impact this institution has on its students.”
George Melville is chairman and owner of Melville Global Investments Inc., a diversified investment portfolio which includes ownership in Mr. Lube, Naramata Benchland Properties, and Bamboo World Kitchen, along with other public and private investments.
Previously, he co-founded Boston Pizza International Inc. with business partner Jim Treliving and together they turned it into the T&M Group of companies, with operations throughout North America and sales of over $1 billion per year. In 1990, they founded what became the Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects, which has raised and donated over $18 million to Canadian charities.
“The gift from the Melvilles will not only elevate the reputation of our School of Business but will support advancements in leading-edge teaching and enrich the student learning experience,” says Stephanie Howes, dean of the Melville School of Business.
“The generous investment in endowed student awards will provide meaningful support for hundreds of students and strengthen our students’ affiliation to their business school. Students will have more opportunity to build their skills in communication, teamwork and critical thinking through case competitions and work-integrated learning connections with industry.”
Beginning in 2003, George Melville was a member of KPU’s board of governors for six years, during which time he held various leadership roles. As chairperson of the audit committee, he helped guide KPU during its transition from a community college into a university in 2008. In 2013, he received an honorary doctorate from KPU in recognition of his outstanding professional achievements.