SFU alumnus Lance Uggla and his family are establishing the Uggla Family Scholarship at SFU.

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SFU’s largest gift creates unprecedented scholarship to empower equity-deserving students

December 08, 2020
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Simon Fraser University is pleased to announce that alumnus Lance Uggla and his family are committing $34.1 million to support 10 exceptional undergraduate students per year to study at SFU. This is the largest gift ever received in the university’s history and the largest gift of its kind ever given to a Canadian university.

The gift will establish the Uggla Family Scholarship for students who may not otherwise be able to afford a university education and address social mobility, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Students who become Uggla Family Scholars will demonstrate strong academic and leadership potential. The program will support members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, those living with a disability and those who identify as Indigenous, Black, or a person of colour.

The first cohort of students will carry out their studies in SFU’s Beedie School of Business or the Faculty of Applied Sciences. The innovative, new program will expand to other faculties in future years.

Commitments established globally

Uggla, Chairman and CEO of London-based IHS Markit, is a graduate of SFU’s Beedie Business School of Business (BBA ’85). Uggla and his family are also committing £23.4 million for a similar initiative at the London School of Economics (LSE), where Uggla earned his master’s degree, and is supporting the university education of graduates from the Shitima School in Zambia.

Once fully rolled out, these three scholarship programs will enable a university education for 100 talented students across the world in any one year.

“I feel fortunate every single day that I have benefited from an excellent university education, and by enabling these scholarships in perpetuity it is my way of saying thank you to Simon Fraser University and LSE for giving me such a strong foundation for my career,” says Uggla.

“I am a father of four amazing children who are all building their careers from a similarly strong foundation. The Uggla Family Scholars that this program will support, all from less advantaged backgrounds, will equally be given the opportunity to excel in the years ahead. I am excited to get started and help the first students begin their journeys.”

“We are inspired by and deeply grateful for the Uggla family’s profound vision to empower the future leaders our diverse communities need,” says SFU President Joy Johnson. “This is truly a transformative gift that will help to change lives, advance society and enable SFU to continue its growth as a leading advocate of equity, diversity and inclusion.”

Scholarships set to roll out next fall

The scholarships are set to start in September 2021 at SFU and LSE with a first cohort of 10 students at each institution to begin in the fall of 2021. New cohorts of students at each institution will begin their journey in the Uggla Family Scholars program every fall term thereafter. The program in Zambia will start in January 2021.

The scholarships will cover tuition, fees, books, housing and expenses, but will also go beyond financial aid. A comprehensive leadership program will provide co-curricular opportunities for personal growth and development, including financial management and wellness. More information on the Uggla Family Scholarship at SFU can be found here: https://bit.ly/uggla-family-scholarship.

The programs will be funded through the Uggla Family Foundation. Established in April 2020, the Foundation was created to focus on education, health and access to arts.

Alumnus and global entrepreneur

Uggla grew up in Burnaby and nurtured his entrepreneurial spirit while at SFU and, later, at LSE.

He worked in the financial sector in Toronto before moving to London, where, in 2003, he founded Markit, a data, analytics and software provider, focused on the financial industry. 

He grew the company both organically and through acquisition, taking it public in 2014. In 2016, Uggla jointly led the merger of IHS and Markit, becoming chairman and CEO in 2018. As a leading information company, IHS Markit provides data, insight and software to help its customers within financial services, energy and transportation to make more informed decisions, driving their growth, efficiency and performance.

The company has more than 15,000 employees in 34 countries globally and embraces an entrepreneurial approach through shared ownership with its employees. The company has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions. IHS Markit announced on November 30, 2020 that it intended to merge with S&P Global.

Chosen as the Ernst & Young UK Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012, Uggla was also recognized with SFU’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 2014.

He is a supporter of numerous charitable causes, primarily those focused on giving children a better start in life including Zamcog, a school in Zambia for street children which his family started, that today has more than 440 students.