Sauder mourns loss of friend and supporter David Lam


The faculty, staff and students of the Sauder School of Business mourn the loss of British Columbia's former Lieutenant-Governor Dr. David C. Lam, who passed away on November 22. A valued member of the Sauder community, his generous contributions to the School, the University of British Columbia, and numerous other B.C. institutions have had a profound and lasting impact.

At Sauder, Lam’s significant support allowed for the creation of the David Lam Management Research Library in 1985. With a collection of more than 60,000 volumes and millions of electronic articles and other documents, the Library is one of the province’s key business resources, serving more than 240,000 students, researchers and members of the business community each year. The Library became part of the David Lam Management Research Centre in 1992, a major new building on UBC campus constructed with the generous assistance of the Lam family.

An emigrant from Hong Kong, David Lam arrived in Vancouver with his wife Dorothy and three young daughters in 1967. To help make the transition to life in his adopted city, Lam took courses at UBC, augmenting his MBA with a diploma in Real Estate Management.

At the opening of the David Lam Management Research Library Lam said, “It is of no small significance to me that this library will serve many immigrants to this great country who will study at this outstanding university.”

Lam became the first Chinese lieutenant-governor in Canadian history in 1988, after an extremely successful career in real estate. One of the wealthiest men in the province, Lam was far more enamored with the good that money can do to enhance the human spirit than with what it can buy.

“I have seen a lot of wealth—like gold, silver, diamonds and cash in the bank. But these are dead wealth. These are useless to me," he was quoted as saying in Vancouver Sun. "True riches are of the mind.”

In addition to his gifts to Sauder, Lam funded the creation of numerous buildings, parks and gardens, and supported musical groups and awards of achievement in B.C.  At UBC, the Lam family supported the David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education, the Dorothy Lam Chair in Special Education, and the David C. Lam Asian Garden at the Botanical Garden. Provincial landmarks that bear his name include David Lam Park in Vancouver’s False Creek, Simon Fraser University’s David Lam Centre for International Communication, the University of Victoria's David Lam Auditorium, and the David Lam Campus of Douglas College.