media release

$100,000 donation creates community service awards

November 22, 2013

Jack Uppal,
Erica Branda, SFU Advancement, 778.231.1274,
Dixon Tam, SFU media relations, 778.782.8742, 

Photo for download:

A $100,000 donation from Canadian business leader Jagat Singh (Jack) Uppal will be used annually to recognize up to five Simon Fraser University students for excellence in community or volunteer service.

Uppal came to Canada from India as a baby after his father immigrated here earlier in 1906. At age 13, Uppal’s father died in an accident, and he was forced to drop out of school to support his family. He found work in a sawmill, which started his lifelong career in the forest industry.

As he moved into management positions within the lumber industry and eventually became a company owner himself, Uppal actively hired new immigrants and sponsored others. He’s been described as a “one-man social worker before there were social workers.” Over the years, Uppal has helped thousands of new immigrants.

“From those early days, I recognized that my community was important, and since then, I have actively worked to better my life and the lives of those less fortunate,” says Uppal. “This award will encourage students to do the same for generations to come.” 

Uppal was awarded the B.C. Community Achievement in 2010 in recognition of his many contributions to the province. In 2012, he received an honorary doctor of laws degree from SFU.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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