UBC moves forward with Peter Wall Legacy Fund

24 October, 2022

A message from Professor Deborah Buszard, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor

Following approvals from the UBC Vancouver Senate, the UBC Board of Governors, and the UBC Foundation Board of Directors, UBC will be moving forward with the newly named Peter Wall Legacy Fund. A media release has been issued celebrating the launch of the new fund and recognizing the impact of Peter Wall’s generous support of UBC in inspiring scholars to come together to tackle key issues in our society. The release can be found here.

The Peter Wall Legacy Fund will support two Research Fellowships and, a number of Awards for UBC faculty and students totaling approximately $4 million each year, in perpetuity. The agreement governing the Fund will support the shared goals of the donor and UBC to invest in the future minds of our province and enables appropriate academic governance for how these funds will be used.

The nature of these Awards and Fellowships will be developed by an academic panel convened by UBC. Initially, both programs will focus broadly on sustainability in many areas in the urban environment, the oceans, and the natural resource sector, to address areas of concern to British Columbia, while allowing for national and international engagement.

With this new agreement and focus on Awards and Fellowships, the future of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS) and the desirability of an institute for advanced studies at UBC will be considered by an academic committee, with any decisions requiring Senate approval.

Funding remains in place for the current scholars in existing PWIAS programs and UBC will celebrate Peter Wall’s contribution to the University by creating the Wall Collaboration Centre. This flexible space within the University Centre will serve as a venue for members of the UBC community, Wall Fellows and Wall Research Awardees to congregate, exchange ideas and collaborate on solutions. 

The agreement builds on a number of successes at the PWIAS and we are proud of the role it has played. The initial donation represented the largest gift from an individual donor at that time.  It has supported hundreds of UBC, Canadian and international scholars, and reached thousands of people in the broader community through the Wall Exchange Public Speakers Program.  The agreement will ensure that UBC faculty and students continue to have opportunities to advance solutions through collaboration and the exchanging of ideas within a sustainable financial and academic governance structure.

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