Chair honours retired B.C. senator

May 17, 2007

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SFU and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada are creating a Jack Austin Chair in Asian Economies at the university, thanks to financial contributions from his friends and supporters.

The chair recognizes the recently retired B.C. member of the Canadian Senate for his exceptional contribution to Canada-Asia relations.

Chair holders will teach and conduct policy-relevant economic research on Asian economies and support an outreach program offering community-based lectures with international scholars.

The Asia Pacific Foundation raised $900,000 for the endowed chair and the provincial government contributed $400,000. SFU will match private donations and hopes to ultimately raise $4 million in total.

Austin has championed stronger Canada-Asia relations since 1971, when as deputy minister of Energy, Mines and Resources he was part of the first Canadian trade mission to China. He served as president of the Canada China Business Council for seven years and co-chair of the Canada China Legislative Association for five.

He was instrumental in establishing the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada in 1984 and creating a foundation endowment in 2005. Austin represented B.C. in the Senate for 32 years.

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