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New International Institute for Environmental Studies at Trent University Receives $1.5 Million Boost from International Alumnus

April 28, 2016

Dr. Justin Chiu ’76 makes transformational gift to Trent’s International Institute for Environmental Studies

A group of 8 people standing side by side, smiling at the camera in dress attire

At a special event held in Toronto yesterday honouring the generosity and leadership of Trent University alumnus Dr. Justin Chiu Kwok Hung ’76, the University announced another transformational gift from Dr. Chiu – $1.5 million to support the new International Institute for Environmental Studies (IIES) at Trent, in partnership with Nanjing University in China.

“Justin Chiu has been a wonderful supporter of Trent and has been extremely helpful in the development of international partnerships which will extend the impact of our faculty research,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “His generous gift to the International Institute for Environmental Studies, and his leadership in its creation, will help build our impressive expertise in environmental research and our connections to China.”

The gift was celebrated at the University Club in Toronto by a number of special guests, including Dr. Chiu himself as well as: Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University; Dr. Don Tapscott ‘66, Trent University chancellor; MPP Han Dong, parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities; Dr. James Orbinski ’80, founder and past president of Médecins Sans Frontières /Doctors Without Borders (MSF); and representatives from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Toronto, the Durham Chinese Canadian Cultural Centre, and the Canada China Business Council.

Dr. Chiu’s $1.5 million gift follows the initial $165,000 he donated to help launch IIES last year. In 2010, he gave a generous $1 million to the Trent Athletics Centre, and in 2009 he donated $1 million to endow two scholarship funds at Trent University, the Justin Chiu International Scholarship Fund and the Rita Chiu Study Abroad Bursaries Fund.

“Dr. Chiu is a committed and caring alumnus,” said Julie Davis, vice-president External Relations and Advancement at Trent. “His ongoing generosity to Trent University, through his philanthropy and his leadership, helps us continue to be a vibrant institution of learning, discovery and action.”

The International Institute for Environmental Studies, in partnership with Nanjing University, brings experts from prestigious universities around the world together to tackle international environmental issues. It will see world-class research scientists and policy analysts working collaboratively, sharing expertise, facilities and research programs, and will position Trent University as a global leader in the development of research and policy for the management of environmental issues.

“IIES has the potential to transform Trent’s reputation and impact in the area of international environmental science and policy,” said Dr. Douglas Evans, professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University and director of the IIES. “Dr. Chiu’s generous support has helped make the development of this Institute possible.”

IIES will encompass more than 14 highly-ranked international universities, all with leading programs in environmental science, engineering and policy. It will foster international exchanges of research scientists, field experts, faculty members, post-doctoral fellows and students, and will facilitate the exchange of information, ideas, research needs and results among member institutions, and government and industry members and partners.

Dr. Chiu’s most recent gift marks another milestone in Trent University’s $50 million fundraising campaign, Unleash the Potential, the University’s most ambitious philanthropy campaign to date. In October, Trent University alumnus Dr. Stephen Stohn ’66 donated $1 million to help students realize their dream of a new Student Centre, and the following month, longtime supporters of Trent, David and Joan Moore, gave $1 million to renew the Thomas J. Bata Library.