Joe and Rosalie Segal are being honoured for their lifetime achievement with a special award. The family is receiving a Giving Hearts award for their outstanding philanthropy.


Long-time SFU friends Joe and Rosalie Segal honoured for lifetime of leadership

November 16, 2017

Joseph (Joe) and Rosalie Segal are legendary philanthropists whose generosity has touched countless lives and organizations—and had a transformative impact on Simon Fraser University.

In honour of National Philanthropy Day (Nov. 15), the distinguished couple is being honoured for their extraordinary community leadership by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Vancouver Chapter and its first Giving Hearts Lifetime Achievement Award.

The recognition does not stop there. Joe and Rosalie have fostered the same spirit of giving in their four children: Gary, Lorne, Sandra and Tracey. Together, the family guide the Segal Family Foundation and is being celebrated collectively for their generous spirit and service with the Giving Hearts Outstanding Philanthropist to an Organization Raising Over $15 Million Award.

“We live in a community. You have to give back,” Joe has said. “And you give in one of two ways. One, because you have an obligation and you should, and two, you give back because you have a heart.

“There is a saying: The more you give, the more you get. It is true, if you give it in the right manner.”

Joe and Rosalie Segal.

The SFU community knows firsthand the power of that giving. Joe and Rosalie have been friends and strong advocates of Simon Fraser University for decades, helping to advance the university’s growth as well as its reach far beyond the Burnaby campus.

Joe, an SFU chancellor emeritus, championed the university’s expansion into Vancouver’s downtown core, spearheading the campaign to establish a Vancouver campus at Harbour Centre and playing a leadership role in creating the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. For more than 20 years, Rosalie has quietly supported SFU students with special needs, impacting more than 200 learners.

In 2002, the Segal family donated the former Bank of Montreal heritage building as the home for all of SFU’s graduate business programs. Since opening in 2005, the Segal Graduate School of Business has educated thousands of students and become a gathering place and valued resource for the larger business community.

Today, SFU’s Vancouver campus—dubbed “the intellectual heart of the city” by the Vancouver Sun—is the educational hub for business and culture and a vibrant, living legacy to Joe’s vision.

“Joe motivated SFU to dream big at a formative time in the University’s history,” says SFU President Andrew Petter. “His enterprising spirit and determination were key to the creation and development of our Vancouver campus, and to our emergence as Canada’s leading comprehensive university with strong commitments to community engagement.

“Joe and Rosalie have played a crucial role in SFU’s success and, through their generosity to a huge number of organizations and causes, have truly transformed the lives of British Columbians.”

Nurturing that commitment to philanthropy in their children and grandchildren may be the couple’s greatest legacy. From high-profile leadership roles to kind, quiet support that goes unrecognized, the Segal family give their time, talent and treasure to improve lives and communities through a number of initiatives.

These include the Louis Brier Home and Hospital, the United Way of the Lower Mainland, Coast Mental Health, the Vancouver Foundation and VanDusen Botanical Garden, among the many organizations helped over the years. 

The Giving Hearts Award is another opportunity to recognize the Segal family for their remarkable and inspired philanthropy and the impact it will have for many generations. SFU congratulates the Segals on this exceptional—and aptly named—honour for a family that gives with heart.

SFU Chancellor Emeritus and lifetime philanthropist Joe Segal.