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Old 04-17-2012, 03:17 PM   #1
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RIP - Irving K. Barber

Many of us, myself included, have directly benefited from the generosity of Ike during our post-secondary educations. Ike was truly the embodiment of Canadian ideals, giving away vast sums of money to the benefit the young people of British Columbia through his patronage of UBC and scholarship foundation.

RIP Ike, your legacy will never be forgotten.

One of Vancouver's greatest philanthropists has died.

Irving K. "Ike" Barber, who founded Slocan Forest Products Ltd. before becoming one of the University of B.C.'s largest donors, passed away in his sleep on April 13. He was 89.

Born in Alberta in 1923, Barber spent five years in the air force during the Second World War, and went on to graduate from UBC in 1950. He spent his entire professional life in the forest industry, working for MacMillan Bloedel and Triangle Pacific before buying the Slocan sawmill in 1978 and founding Slocan Forest Products.

During his 24 years leading the company, Slocan became one of Canada's leading forestry companies. Barber was named to the Order of B.C. in 2003.

Barber was a generous philanthropist, helping to establish a Forestry Laboratory at the University of Northern B.C. and the Ike Barber Human Islet Trans-plant Laboratory at Vancouver Hospital, among other projects.

But he will be best known to generations of UBC students for the buildings that bear his name. In 2004 he donated $10 million to establish the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC's then-new Kelowna campus.

In 2006, he donated $20 million to the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, the largest donation to a single project in the university's history. Housing the Main Library originally built in 1922, thousands of students study daily in the building known as "Ike."

"Ike was a visionary, but he also remained very involved personally with the projects he supported," said UBC president Stephen Toope in a press release.

"His contributions to our campuses have been dramatic and permanent. Ike's contributions will benefit people from all over for generations to come."

Barber is survived by his wife Jean, three children, nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Read more: Slocan founder gave millions in donations
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:24 PM   #2
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Woah, right now I'm studying at Irving. RIP and thank you for being a philanthropist.
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting this. Really. Cool old dudes way too often get forgotten.
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:51 PM   #4
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Many late nights and early mornings studying at Irving! Although I'd say it is more of an accommodation for sleepy students than a library/ learning centre! I, for one, will not forget your philanthropic work, RIP.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:12 PM   #5
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all students at UBC owe this guy a debt of gratitude, RIP IKB
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
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his legacy will live on through his library!

i'm there right now
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:43 PM   #7
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I was just on campus, haven't heard or seen anything about this posted anywhere around the campus. Would think UBC would honour him a bit better but it could just be my lack of viewing/looking at the wrong part of campus. Been studying in Wood so maybe that's it but those are very generous donations.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:47 PM   #8
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the notice was sent out to the entire campus listserv yesterday or the day before.

RIP...too bad your gorgeous building is getting smelly because all the stressed out students are basically living there!
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by twitchyzero View Post
the notice was sent out to the entire campus listserv yesterday or the day before.

RIP...too bad your gorgeous building is getting smelly because all the stressed out students are basically living there!
and idiots keep setting the alarm off....
Where the hell am I
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:03 PM   #10
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RIP, UBC would be lost without Irving
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:18 PM   #11
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I just had an exam there today & studied there after
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:23 PM   #12
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Most people on Revscene probably can't truly appreciate the true depth of the contribution Ike made to education for students within British Columbia, having been born, raised and educated in Greater Vancouver.

When UBC acquired the Okanagan campus, Ike made a $20 million dollar donation, that didn't change the campus, it redefined it and helped to elevate it to a truly UBC level. Before then, young people living in the interior who wanted to pursue a post-secondary education had much more limited options in what school to attend. They could essentially attend a mostly unrecognized institution like UNBC or Thompson River or move to the coast, which is a huge culture shock for someone raised in a small town. Imagine growing up in Richmond and moving to Prince George, same idea.

Ike was a truly amazing man, if there were more people like him in this world it would be a much better place. To give away so much money to benefit young people, so that they would have the same opportunities he had, that's a very special and increasingly rare way of thinking..
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:52 PM   #13
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Yea, I owe him alright. I've spent the majority of the past 4 years in that building. R.I.P.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:27 AM   #14
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