Hamber Foundation Gender Studies Bursary

The Hamber Foundation was established in 1964 with a gift of $1 million from Aldyen Irene Hamber, in memory of her husband, Eric Werge Hamber (1879-1960), to continue his interests in the enrichment of the lives of the people of British Columbia, and to ensure that his civic, philanthropic and charitable initiatives would last into the future. The Hamber Foundation Women Studies Bursary at UVic was first awarded in 1993.

During the course of his life, Eric Hamber excelled as a scholar, athlete, banker, lumberman, industrialist, university chancellor and philanthropist.

After obtaining an honours degree in classics at St. John's - Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg, Mr. Hamber began his career with a Canadian bank, ultimately moving to British Columbia to establish the bank's first branch in Vancouver. Following his marriage in 1912 to Aldyen Irene Hendry, his interests and energies were directed to the forestry and commercial holdings of the Hendry family who were British Columbia pioneers.

Mr. Hamber maintained throughout his lifetime a keen sense of social obligation and responsibility. He continued his interests in athletic accomplishments, and took active roles in organizations concerned with the well-being, education, culture and needs of the community. He was Honorary Colonel of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada and of the Fifth BC Coast Brigade. He served as the 15th Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia from 1937 to 1941 he was a Freeman of the City of Vancouver and served as Chancellor of the University of British Columbia from 1944 to 1951. In 1942, Premier Pattullo designated an area in eastern BC as Hamber Park to commemorate Mr. Hamber's service as Lieutenant Governor.

On October 3, 1988, Aldyen Hamber died at her Shaughnessy home at the age of 103. After providing for a large number of charities under her Will, she bequeathed the residue of her estate to the Hamber Foundation.

For six years, Mrs. Hamber was the sole governor of the foundation and personally guided the distribution of grants. In 1971, at the request of Mrs. Hamber, a volunteer board of governors assumed management and allocation of the foundation's assets. Currently there are nine governors, six of whom are nominees of other bodies, two are of the Board of Governors of The University of British Columbia, two are of the BC Division of the Canadian Medical Association, and two are of the Benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia.

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