The David See Chai Lam Centre for International Communication was established in 1989 and commenced operations under the founding director, Professor Jan Walls. Funds for establishing the Centre were provided by then Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Dr. David See Chai Lam, and matching funds were provided by the Government of Canada. In agreement with the wishes of Dr. Lam, a sizable portion of the endowment was used to construct a suite of administrative offices at the Harbour Centre Campus of Simon Fraser University as a permanent home for the David Lam Centre.
The David Lam Centre has served as an active link between SFU and the wider community over the past two decades and has supported activities related to intercultural communication through the teaching of Korean, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese. It has also sponsored frequent academic and public events related to Asian art, literature, history, film and philosophy. Beyond this work the Centre has made its expertise and resources available in support of organizations that share an interest in fostering intercultural understanding.
The David Lam Centre continues to use its limited resources prudently to partner with units within SFU in support of academic conferences and symposia. The Centre is also open to working with community groups who provide opportunities for the general public to engage in cultural exchange and education and in substantive discussions of pressing issues.