Dr. William L. Sauder


Statement from UBC President Stephen Toope and Daniel Muzyka, Dean of the Sauder School of Business, on the death of William L. Sauder, former Chair of the UBC Board of Governors, Chancellor of the university, and community business leader and benefactor.

It is with deep sadness and a great sense of loss that we learned today of the death of Dr. William L. Sauder, an honoured alumnus (LL.D.’90, B.Com.‘48), former UBC Board of Governors Chair and Chancellor, the chief benefactor of the Sauder School of Business, and a dear personal friend. Bill Sauder passed away in hospital Wednesday, Dec. 19 after a brief illness. He will be deeply missed.

Dr. Sauder was an honourable and generous individual whose immense contributions of time, talent, and treasure to this university have had a profound impact on higher education in B.C., benefiting students in our province for generations to come.

Dr. Sauder graduated in 1948 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. After launching his career, he returned to UBC as a member of the Board of Governors, and was appointed Chair of the Board. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from UBC in 1990 and served as Chancellor of the university from 1996 to 2002.

Bill Sauder believed deeply in the importance of creating opportunities for young people to receive the education and tools they need to shape their futures. In 2003, he endowed the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration with the largest single private donation ever made to a Canadian business school with a gift of $20 million. In response to his contribution, the provincial government announced an ongoing commitment of $1 million per year in increased funding to support the creation of 125 new student spaces at the School. In recognition of his gift, the Faculty was named the Sauder School of Business. From 2003 onward, he continued to be involved in the growth of the business school and served on its faculty advisory board.

Bill Sauder was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International Forest Products Ltd. (Interfor) and Sauder Industries Ltd. He was one of the founders of the forest industry in British Columbia and played a lead role in the growth of secondary manufacturing. His entrepreneurial drive and innovative business ideas contributed greatly to the economic development of the province. Bill also served on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Dominion Bank and the British Columbia Development Corporation, and on the executive committee of the Board of Directors of B.C. Hydro. He was widely recognized for his commitment to leading with honesty and integrity and provided an example for other business leaders.

In addition to his endowment gift to the Sauder School, Dr. Sauder and his wife Marjorie-Anne endowed a number of research chairs at the university, but much of their generous philanthropy to the university, to medical science, and to the community at large was made anonymously in keeping with their modest and unassuming view of service.

We extend our deepest condolences to Marjorie-Anne, and to the entire Sauder family. We share with them a very personal sense of loss.

Professor Stephen J. Toope, President and Vice Chancellor, The University of British Columbia

Professor Daniel Muzyka, Dean, Sauder School of Business