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IRFHAN RAWJI, BCom 2000

Currently Director of Onex Corp., Rawji returned to the Sauder School in 2004 as an instructor, teaching finance and government policy. In recognition of his work and community contributions, he was named a Leader of Tomorrow by Volunteer Vancouver, and was one of Maclean’s “100 Canadians to Watch in the 21st Century” and the Globe and Mail’s “Top Canadians Under 35.”

I am a strong believer in public education institutions such as UBC.

In a knowledge-driven economy, one’s success is unmistakably correlated to the level and quality of education attained. Public education institutions attempt to level the playing field so that one’s effort, rather than one’s background and inherited wealth, dictate the level of achievement or success possible.

Without strong investment in public education, a two-tier education system eventually emerges: an exceptional system for the “haves” and another system for the “have-nots”. Our most “economically gifted” minds thrive at the expense of other potentially more “intellectually gifted” minds, enhancing and perpetuating inequality in our society. We have seen this occur elsewhere, and are beginning to witness this effect in our elementary and secondary education systems.

Government cannot solve this problem alone; therefore, to compete against private education, public institutions also require private investment. This investment must come from those who believe in equal opportunity, and that our most talented, regardless of economic background, deserve an opportunity to thrive and succeed.

This is why I donate to UBC.