Alumni gives back to International House

Raymond Kan remembers well the feeling of being far away from home in a foreign country. As a former student who came to the University of Calgary from Hong Kong to study mechanical engineering, Kan had no hesitation in donating $25,000 toward a student and meeting space at the U of C’s new International House.

“Thirty something years ago, I was an international student,” says Kan. “While I look back on my time at the university with fondness, I know that I would have benefited greatly from living in a place like International House.”

After graduating in 1980, Kan spent several years working as an engineer before starting up his own insurance agency. Within ten years, he had built his organization into one of the largest independent insurance agencies in Canada. Kan’s busy schedule does not stop his community involvement. He is the co-founder and chairman of the Alberta Dragon Boat Race and is also an active promoter of community causes such as United Way.

Kan believes that internationalization will continue to play a vital role at the U of C and in the Calgary community. “Calgary is emerging as a dominant player in trading oil,” says Kan. “As more people come to learn and work in our city, it’s important that we have a world-class facility such as International House for both students and visitors to stay in. I’m proud to support such a great project.”

Something else Kan would like to see International House accomplish? “I would love to see all the past international students residing or doing business in Calgary support the project,” he says. “That would be a great thing.”