TRU receives largest ever donation

By Vanessa Ybarra
October 5, 2017 - 1:54pm Updated: October 5, 2017 - 5:25pm

KAMLOOPS — Thompson Rivers University got a big financial boost Thursday morning, with the university receiving its largest personal donation ever.

Speaking in front of faculty members and students, Sherman Jen announced he's donating five million dollars to the university.

Jen is the founder of the Maple Leaf Education Systems that operates close to three dozen high schools in China.

The organization and TRU have had a close relationship for years, with TRU accepting hundreds of graduates into its science and other degree programs.

Jen says the donation is a way to show his appreciation.

"It's a social responsibility to give back," said Jen. "Maple Leaf Education Systems and Thompson Rivers University have had a long relationship, so it's natural to want to donate money."

Money from the donation will go towards student scholarships, along with building a patient simulation lab in the new nursing building and an innovation lab for the trades and technology building.

It will also pay for students to compete in competitions overseas.

TRU President Alan Shaver called the donation 'overwhelming.'

"It's fantastic it really is," said Shaver. "To be part of a project affecting so many students and so many faculty members, it's great."

Shaver says TRU's former Vice-President of Advancement Christopher Seguin who died last month was in charge of deciding how the monetary gift would be allocated.

A moment of silence was held before the announcement to honour Seguin.

"It was difficult but it was heartwarming, " said Shaver. "The fact so many people turned out and it went so smoothly, he was always a stickler to making sure we always had a  blow out event. He had a tremendous influence on the design of the gift so it would have a trans-TRU impact. In fact, it was his idea that this is what we do. Sherman Jan recognized it immediately and that's what made him to make this investment so, it's a great day."

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