James and Phillippa Kerr

James and Phillippa Kerr
James and Phillippa Kerr
First Love Becomes UVic Legacy

Passionate about the value of public health and nursing, James and Phillippa Kerr wanted future graduate students to serve their communities with advanced clinical care.

The Kerrs were educated on three continents, travelled the world, and had fascinating, diverse careers.  But when it came to leaving a legacy, they chose to support the calling which first drew them together.

Jim was an Englishman who served the army in India and Burma during WW II. He qualified as a psychiatric nurse before immigrating to Canada. Phillippa was born and educated in New Zealand, lived in England for seven years, then moved to Canada. She was a qualified maternity nurse and midwife.

They met in northern Saskatchewan while serving First Nations communities as public health nurses. 

The Kerrs worked in every Canadian province between Quebec and BC; upgrading their education as they moved west. Phillippa eventually taught nursing and then held senior management roles in the BC Ministry of Health. Jim drew on his psychiatric training and hospital administration experience to support his latter careers with BC Health and Corrections Canada. 

Through it all, their support and appreciation of the work done by public health nurses never wavered. After Jim’s death, Phillippa established the James and Phillippa Kerr Scholarships at the University of Victoria.  When she died in April 2013, Phillippa left a generous gift to support the Kerr Scholarships forever.

For more information on donating to UVic, please contact mgrlegacydev@uvic.ca or 250-721-8967.