Oak Bay Marine Group President and CEO Bob Wright has made an unprecedented gift of $11 million toward the support of ocean, earth and atmospheric research and education at the University of Victoria. This donation—the largest cash gift UVic has ever received—was announced on June 21. It will enable the university to reach a new level of research in the most critical issue facing the world today—climate change. “A lifelong passion and affinity for the sea has underscored my concern about the impact of global warming on our oceans,” says Wright. “As a community and as a country, we must expand our investment in solid scientific research so we can pass on a healthy environment for generations to come.” “UVic is a global centre of excellence in ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences, and this generous gift will help take our research and education to an even higher level,” says UVic President David Turpin. “Bob Wright’s profound generosity is a true example of how an individual and company can go above and beyond to both support the community in which they operate and contribute to the solution of global issues.” The gift is being donated on behalf of the crew who work at the Oak Bay Marine Group of Companies. Of the $11-million gift, $10 million will help fund the new Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Building. Currently under construction, the building will provide synergy and maximize collaborative teaching and research opportunities by bringing together under one roof the university’s marine and climate scientists, who have been housed in various locations across campus. Wright’s gift also includes $1 million to fund student scholarships. “I have had many UVic graduates and students work with the Oak Bay Marine Group over the years, and I’ve always valued the education they received there,” adds Wright. “The scholarship fund will help more students experience the tremendous benefits of a UVic education.” Wright modestly describes himself as “just a gumboot fisherman who sells fish hooks for a nickel apiece.” However, he has built the largest sport fishing operation in North America. Today, the Oak Bay Marine Group includes resorts, marinas and attractions in Canada, the United States and the Bahamas and employs over 1,000 staff and management. Over the years, Wright has served BC and Canada through activities such as being a director for the Victoria Marine Resources Centre and a commissioner for the Canada–Pacific Salmon Treaty. He is a life member of the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine and the Explorer’s Club. Wright has also been active in the Victoria community, including such initiatives as the placement of the original totem pole in Beacon Hill Park, spearheading the original City of Victoria’s Heritage Program and serving as a director for both the Victoria Symphony and Art Gallery. He has served as vice-chair of BC Ferries, managing director of the BC Steamship Company, and was instrumental in the creation of Chinatown’s Gate of Harmonious Interest. In 2000 the University of Victoria awarded him an honorary doctorate of laws.