Insights at UBC Sauder

UBC Sauder Emeritus professor Stan Hamilton receives President's Award for Distinguished Service

Posted 2018-06-21

The prestigious award is given to UBC emeriti who show exceptional leadership or initiative in volunteer community service.

For over four decades he inspired thousands of students, many of whom went on to become public and private sector leaders in their own right, and now UBC Sauder School of Business professor emeritus Stan Hamilton has been given one of the university’s most prestigious honours.

The President's Award for Distinguished Service by UBC Emeriti is given to UBC Emeriti who have, since attaining UBC Emeritus status, “displayed exceptional leadership or initiative in volunteer community service that benefits others in Canada or abroad” — and Hamilton has been named the 2018 recipient.

Hamilton’s contributions go far beyond the academic world, and have reached the arts, urban planning, industry governance and property tax reform.

Since his retirement, Dr. Hamilton has devoted his business and project management expertise to a range of projects — among them arranging a sponsorship to pay off the mortgage on Vancouver’s historic Stanley Theatre, securing and project managing the BMO Theatre Centre, and serving as chair of the BC Arts Council, where he ensured stable funding for artists. He has also been a significant donor to a range of arts organizations and currently serves on the board of Ballet B.C.

At UBC, Dr. Hamilton – along with UBC Sauder’s Assistant Dean and Director of Finance, Sandy Tanaka – created the Dean of UBC Sauder Co-op Grant Program, which places skilled UBC Sauder students in non-profit organizations — especially those in the fields of health, arts and culture — where they can gain experience and use their business savvy to help organizations transform the lives of those they serve.

One such organization is PALS Autism Society, which is one of the first day programs devoted to adults with autism. A grant from the UBC Sauder Co-op program, along with grants from the YP Heung Foundation — where Hamilton is an advisor — helped PALS participants secure paid employment. Other organizations that have benefited from the UBC Sauder program include the Arts Club Theatre, Bard on the Beach, 365Give, Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, Pacific Theatre and the City of Vancouver.

Over the years Hamilton has received numerous awards, including the Order of British Columbia. The award recognized his many contributions to the province, including a more equitable property tax system, better communities through planning and development commissions, and healthier economies thanks to his work on industry governance and regulation, as well as his contributions to arts and cultural organizations.

“Stan has had an enormous impact as a professor at UBC and has continued that legacy in the wider community,” says Robert Helsley, Dean of UBC Sauder. “Stan is an exceptional colleague, academic and global citizen who generously gives his time and talent to educate, mentor and fundraise for so many great causes, and is deeply deserving of the President's Award for Distinguished Service by UBC Emeriti.”

Hamilton says he was initially surprised at the news of the award. “So many of my colleagues in the emeritus group are doing wonderful things in their professions and in the community, so I feel very honoured to have been singled out by the selection committee.”

He adds, “I’ve been very fortunate in life, and retirement seemed like the perfect opportunity to continue using my business skills to help non-profits succeed. Fortunately, working with non-profits is something my wife encourages and shares with me; it’s been a wonderful challenge and one that I’m truly passionate about.”

The honour included a $1,000 award, which Hamilton has already donated to one of the non-profits he works with – the Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, founded by UBC alum Joyce Lam in 2001. “They do great work in the community, and I was thrilled to be able to help them. For a small organization, $1,000 certainly means a lot,” Hamilton says.

 *Photo credit: Province of British Columbia