Irving K. Barber Endowment

Dr. Irving (Ike) K. Barber BSF, RPF, LLD graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree in 1950 and qualified as Professional Registered Forester in 1952.

He was involved in the forest industry in British Columbia for 57 years, working with people at all levels and throughout the province. In 1978, at the age of 55, he founded Slocan Forest Products Ltd. and over the next 23 years built it into one of the leading lumber producers in North America.

Dr. Barber retired as Chairman in February 2002. As well as being a pre-eminent BC forester and entrepreneur, Dr. Barber was a visionary thinker and philanthropist. His focus was to direct funding to projects to strengthen BC and improve the quality of life for BC residents.

In 2004 a generous gift from Dr. Barber to UBC resulted in the founding of the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at the new UBC Okanagan campus as well as the creation of the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC Okanagan Endowment Fund.

The founding principles of the School will continue to inform the use of the endowment within the newly created Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science including excellence in teaching and learning, experiential learning, research and community engagement.

Dr. Barber passed away on April 13, 2012, but his legacy lives on as a founding partner of the UBC Okanagan campus and the accomplishments of the students and faculty made fueled by his visionary thinking and generosity.

The Legacy of Dr. Irving K. Barber

Since the endowment was established in 2005:

  • 22 outstanding professors have received Curricular Innovation Awards to help develop innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
  • 185 students have received Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Awards to pursue innovative and original research.
  • The endowment also supports high-quality speakers through the Distinguished Speaker Series. To date, 28 distinguished guests have presented their unique perspectives on issues that affect the Okanagan, the country, and the world.