Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fishing CEO shares net wealth

$11-million donation to University of Victoria intended to discover the truth about environmental change

Dismissing religion, politics and business as channels for environmental truth, Mr. Wright decided to give some of his "extra dollars in a jam jar" to the University of Victoria, which has produced many graduates that work at his company.

Of the donation, which is the largest cash gift the university has ever received, $10-million will go toward the new Oceans, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences building, with the remaining $1-million for student scholarships.

VANCOUVER -- Most people who remain confused about climate change might drop five bucks to rent An Inconvenient Truth. But Bob Wright has just spent $11-million in an attempt to get to the bottom of what's happening to the Earth's climate.

Mr. Wright, a high-school dropout who is president and CEO of one of Canada's largest sport-fishing ventures, decided to donate the cash to the University of Victoria's school of earth and ocean sciences in the hope of getting some answers on global warming. The money, announced today, ensures the completion of the new Oceans, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences building on the campus, which will allow all members of the university's marine and climate faculty to convene under the same roof for the first time.

Wright left school after Grade 10 because he was more interested in fishing than math. He moved to Victoria in 1951, and in 1962 started the Oak Bay Marine group, which 40 years later is one of the biggest sport-fishing companies in North America.
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