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Richard Ott

$915.00 (raised so far)

About Richard Ott

In memory of Richard Ott, the family requests that a donation be made to the Walter Gage Memorial Bursary at the University of British Columbia. Mr. Ott greatly appreciated the mentorship and support provided to him by Dean Gage when Mr. Ott was an engineering student.

At Christmastime 1955, during his second year of engineering studies at UBC, Mr. Richard Ott found himself with a mere $5 to his name. His mother was ill, and his earnings from his summer job had gone to pay the mortgage. Although his older brother had taken over his mother’s care and finances, he knew he had only one choice: he had to take a year’s leave from his university education to help his family and to finance future university costs. He went to Dr. Walter Gage, Dean of Administrative and Inter-Faculty Affairs, to ask for a year’s leave of absence, effective December 1955. The Dean knew that taking a year off might extend into more, and might mean never returning to university. He had another solution in mind. “I’ve got lots of bursaries,” he said. “How much money do you need?”

Dr. Gage gave Mr. Ott $600 in bursaries—enough for his fees, enough so that he wouldn’t have to quit university. That $600 in bursary money and bursary money to follow, saved his university education. Mr. Ott graduated with a BASc in Civil Engineering in 1957, and went on to have a very successful career in engineering before retiring as Chairman and CEO of PBK Engineering in 1992.

In 2007, Mr. Ott established the Walter Gage Memorial Bursary in Engineering. He named it after Dr. Gage so that his generosity—and his memory—will live on. “I feel very strongly that it’s ‘give back time’,” he says. “Everyone, all graduates, but especially people like me, retired people, we have a duty to give back to today’s students, to the universities that helped us get where we are today. Even $10,000 can make the difference to a student’s dream of education and the financial burdens that stand in the way.” After all, he well knows what a difference a few hundred dollars can make.

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The impact of your support

Reflecting on Dean Gage’s mentorship and support, Mr. Ott says “I feel very strongly that it’s ‘give back time’. Everyone, all graduates, but especially people like me, retired people, we have a duty to give back to today’s students, to the universities that helped us get where we are today. Even $10,000 can make the difference to a student’s dream of education and the financial burdens that stand in the way.” After all, Mr. Ott well knows what a difference a few hundred dollars can make.

List of Donors
  • Anonymous & Offline Donors

  • Dan and Hilary Stenstream

  • Gordon Catherwood

  • Wayne and Doreen Berg

  • Shelley and Lorne Burns

  • Greg Blue

  • Murray and Patricia Hamilton

  • Ewa Izdebski

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