Nov. 15, 2017

A new scholarship, for a new degree program, fuels innovation on campus

Jack and Louise Lee make a philanthropic gift to empower engineering/business students


Jacquie Moore, Development and Alumni Engagement

Calgary couple inspired to support new degree program at UCalgary

The son of an immigrant father from rural China, Jack Lee grew up hearing the oft-repeated message that hard work and education were the keys to success in life. “My dad had a great interest in seeing his son well-educated,” he says. “I was going to be the lawyer in the family.”

Fast-forward a few decades and, while Jack admittedly did not thrive in law school, he did take his dad’s vision to heart, completing arts and business degrees and carving out a career in the energy sector. Jack’s wife, Louise, meanwhile, is a former fashion-industry entrepreneur who grew up witnessing her family’s positive impact on the community in the couple’s hometown of Swift Current, Sask.

Inspired by a gift made to UCalgary by their friends Diane and Doug Hunter, who recently established the future Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurial Thinking, the Lees invested in a new combined degree program that aligns with their values and interests. The Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce, which officially kicked off this fall, is designed to blend strategic thinking with technical expertise; the Lees’ $1-million gift supports students in the program who demonstrate exceptional leadership, as well as academic and entrepreneurial ability.

Louise’s hope is that the Jack and Louise Lee Family Energy Leaders Scholarship will empower the program’s most promising students to cultivate excellent self-discipline, self-awareness, creativity, ingenuity and other skills that will allow them to lead in their field and spark change in their community. “This program is a marvellous opportunity for students hitting our job markets and will, we hope, help keep them in Alberta and in Canada,” says Louise.

The gift to create the Jack and Louise Lee Family Energy Leaders Scholarship is part of Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, the university’s most ambitious fundraising campaign to date. Together, with support from our community, we are more than two thirds to our $1.3 billion goal. Learn more about how the Energize campaign is sparking change on our campus and beyond.