Whistler’s Gibbons family creates UBC student award to honour late mother

Colleen and Richard Gibbons

$500,000 gift will be matched by UBC, to create new entrance awards for UBC students

Thanks to a generous gift from Richard (Dick) and Colleen Gibbons of Whistler, BC, a new Centennial Scholars Award has been established at the University of British Columbia (UBC), to honour Dick’s late Mother, Mary, who was primarily responsible for raising Dick and his older brother Dave. Mary died in 1970 from cancer at the age of fifty-one.

The Gibbons family’s donation of $500,000, together with matching funds from the university, creates an endowed award at the university that will support students at the university for generations to come.

“It is wonderful that the Gibbons Family has chosen to support their alma mater, UBC,” says UBC president Santa J. Ono. “It is amazing to see how much an impact that awards like these can have on the leaders of tomorrow. I thank the Gibbons Family for their generosity and for supporting students at UBC for many generations to come.”

The endowment will support awards of $10,000 for students entering UBC. These awards can be renewed for up to four years and will assist outstanding students who may not otherwise be able to attend university. More than 6,500 students across both UBC campuses received donor-funded support last year alone and gifts like the Mary E. Gibbons Memorial Centennial Award enable UBC to continue providing much-needed support to the bright minds that will help change our world.

Niko Andrianos, a second-year student who received a Centennial Scholars Entrance Award, says, “When I was told I was being given the award I was in shock, I didn’t know what to say. My whole family was ecstatic — it literally changed our lives. Without the support of donors, I wouldn’t be here at UBC pursuing my passion.”

The Mary E. Gibbons Memorial Centennial Award will be open to all domestic students applying to attend UBC. Preference will be given to students from the Sea to Sky corridor, where the Gibbons family has been involved in the hospitality industry for decades, as well as to students from Nelson, BC — where Mary was born — and from Burnaby where Dick and his brother, David, attended Burnaby South High School.

Dick Gibbons says, “It is the family’s hope that these awards will inspire students to come to UBC and thrive. My brother and I both graduated from UBC Law School and were on the varsity football team. We squeezed everything we could from our university education. It is now time for us to give back to the communities that helped to shape our lives”.

The first Mary E. Gibbons Memorial Centennial Awards recipients will attend UBC in the Fall of 2020.

About the Blue & Gold Campaign for Students
Launched in 2017, the UBC Blue & Gold Campaign is the largest fundraising campaign for students in the university’s history. It supports a range of student awards, including fellowships, scholarships, bursaries, and experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. Areas of emphasis include awards that support students in need, students from under-represented communities, leadership-based academic awards, and graduate students.

For information about the Blue & Gold Campaign for Students, visit: https://support.ubc.ca/blueandgold

For more information about the Centennial Awards Program: