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MacInnes Family Field: A family’s legacy to multiple generations

July 8, 2020

In the heart of the Vancouver campus, MacInnes Family Field speaks to the legacy of the family who endowed it and their long connection to UBC.

In 1934, William Eugene MacInnes passed away while attending UBC. Thanks to an endowment by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.H. MacInnes, an athletic field was named in his memory. William was also the nephew of the university’s first female faculty member, Professor Isabel MacInnes, who would later be head of UBC’s Germanic Studies.

For decades, MacInnes Field had resided in the heart of campus, nestled next to the Aquatic Centre and the War Memorial Gym, used as an outdoor facility for everything from sports events to spring concert celebrations for undergrads to mark the end of a successful academic year. Its very tangible role as a community hub, while providing welcome green space on campus, could not be overestimated.

In 2019, when a new Aquatic Centre was built, MacInnes Field was relocated closer to the newly built AMS Student Nest building. This afforded an opportunity to update the legacy — and it was renamed MacInnes Family Field in honour of the MacInnes family’s long philanthropic history with UBC. The relocation was supported by another accomplished woman in the family, Dr. Janet Isabel MacInnes, grandniece of Professor Isabel MacInnes, and granddaughter of the original donors, with her own generous gift of $500,000.

“My grandfather and great aunt were two very important people in my life,” says Janet MacInnes. “I’m delighted to be able to honour them by supporting the MacInnes Family Field initiative and to be part of the third generation of the MacInnes family to support UBC.”

The new 57,000 square-foot field MacInnes Family Field has a state-of-the-art all-season turf allowing increased recreational use for the entire campus community. The field can be sub-divided into three separate playing surfaces to service multiple groups and maximize its usage. Students, staff, faculty, and the wider UBC community will all benefit from the year-round access to MacInnes Family Field’s 21st Century incarnation — situated, as it always has been, in the heart of campus, as a family legacy for past and future generations at UBC.