International educator and entrepreneur presents largest gift ever received by Royal Roads

Victoria – Royal Roads University has received a $5 million gift – the largest in its history – from international educator, visionary leader and entrepreneur, Dr. Sherman Jen.  The donation launches the institution’s “75Years of Changing Lives” celebrations, highlighting a legacy of learning and leadership since Royal Roads was founded as an officer training institution in 1940.

At a ceremony held on campus today, Dr. Jen, founder and chairman of Maple Leaf Educational Systems and Maple Leaf International Schools, said the donation symbolizes the deep connection between his personal beliefs about the role of education in society, and the values, mission and model of Royal Roads University.

“I see a world in conflict because people don’t understand each other,” says Dr. Jen. “I believe an educational model that brings people together, valuing languages, cultures and traditions, helps to develop global citizens and a shared understanding that can contribute to conflict reduction.”

President and Vice-Chancellor Allan Cahoon says the university is honoured that Dr. Jen has chosen to make a significant investment in the future success of Royal Roads’ students and university.

“Dr. Jen is a recognized visionary leader in providing education that connects Chinese and Canadian communities,” says Cahoon. “His generous gift will support the establishment of a centre on campus to promote global understanding through education.”

Since opening his first school in 1995, Dr. Jen’s Maple Leaf Educational Systems has expanded to over 15,000 students studying in 39 schools throughout China. Almost half of those students are enrolled in seven high schools and two foreign national, Kindergarten-to-grade-nine schools where they are studying B.C. curriculum certified through the B.C. Global Education Program.

Maple Leaf was first on many fronts: first offshore school accredited by the B.C. Ministry of Education; first international school to be recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Education; first to fully blend the delivery of the Chinese and B.C. high school curriculum learning outcomes and first to offer dual Chinese and B.C. government graduation diplomas.

Cahoon says Dr. Jen’s commitment to global education and belief in RRU’s learning model is especially meaningful as Royal Roads’ begins its 75th anniversary celebrations.

“For 55 years as a military college and for 20 years as a university, Royal Roads has graduated students who have witnessed history, contributed globally and made life-changing differences to their communities. Dr. Jen’s donation will help strengthen the diversity and understanding of our global change-makers, extending the reach of the Royal Roads experience for the next 75 years.”