Vancouver philanthropist and former chancellor of the University of British Columbia Robert Lee has died at the age of 86.
University of B.C. president Santo Ono called Lee an exemplary humanitarian whose legacy will forever inspire the community.
Lee died on Wednesday and a statement from Ono says he will be deeply missed by the university where he served two terms on the UBC Board of Governors, was installed as chancellor in 1993 and was chairman of the UBC Foundation.
He was a member of the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada, and helped many organizations including the Robert Lee YMCA and the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Lee met his wife, Lily, while attending the university and their four children are also alumni.
After he graduated in 1956, he had a successful career in real estate and founded the Prospero Group of Companies in 1979, integrating real estate, leasing, property management and development in one firm.
The university statement says Lee was the founding chairman of the UBC Properties Trust for 23 years, a first of its kind trust in North America, which has earned the university over $1.7 billion.
"Bob's vision inspired similar projects at universities around the world, making this one of the single most influential ideas for bolstering education funding in recent history," Ono said.
"I know that the UBC community will be joined by countless others in our local, national, and international communities in mourning the loss of this truly accomplished and beloved man."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2020.
The Canadian Press