March 9, 2011: Cap U pulls out all the stops to celebrate 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day

      Wednesday, March 9, 2011
      Contact: Shelley Kean at 604.983.7596

      (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)—A major private gift to Capilano University announced March 8 on International Women's Day will promote greater awareness of women's issues and support Capilano University’s students and programs.

      North Shore residents George and Lee Grills have pledged a minimum $1 million planned gift that will be used to create Capilano University’s first endowed visiting professorship.

      The George and Lee Grills Professorship in Women’s Studies will be used by the university’s Women’s Studies department to identify and bring extraordinary women involved in a variety of social justice issues to the university. Additional funds beyond the $1 million pledge by the Grills will go towards supporting the university’s Global Stewardship program.

      “We are absolutely delighted with this generous gift, which will go a long way towards advancing learning and teaching opportunities for students in our Women’s Studies and Global Stewardship programs,” said Capilano president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Kris Bulcroft. “The professorship will also ensure that the Grills’ legacy and dedication to social justice will live on and continue to make a difference in the world.”

      The Grills are longtime Capilano University supporters who established in 2001 the Una Graham and Lee Grills Bursary to support female students. In addition, George Grills has been a guest speaker in the Global Stewardship program, where he has shared his knowledge on working with the private sector in securing support.

      “We wanted to find a way to express our gratitude to a community that has been so good to us over the years,” the Grills said in a joint statement. “We both have had a longterm relationship with Capilano University that has exceeded our expectations, so we chose to acknowledge through this gift the university’s commitment to teaching excellence, student mentoring, equality, and diversity.”

      Following the funding announcement and in honour of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, Capilano University hosted founder and executive director of War Child Canada, Dr. Samantha Nutt. Dr Nutt exemplifies the type of visiting professor Capilano will be able to host through future funding provided by the Grills’ endowment. The celebrated human right’s activist addressed an attentive audience of community residents, students, donors and Capilano employees gathered at North Vancouver’s Holiday Inn & Suites.

      Capilano University is a teaching-focused university that serves the communities of the Lower Mainland, Howe Sound, and the Sunshine Coast through campuses in North Vancouver, Squamish and Sechelt. Enrolment totals 7,500 students in credit programs each term with an additional 7,000 people taking non-credit courses annually. Capilano offers a complete range of preparatory courses, university-level arts and science courses, business and management studies, creative and applied arts programs, health and human services programs, plus a range of services in support of student learning and success. Credentials awarded include bachelor degrees, associate degrees, post-baccalaureate diplomas, advanced diplomas, diplomas, certificates and statements of completion. More information can be found at


      About Dr. Rosalie (Lee) Grills:
      Dr. Rosalie (Lee) Grills has been a longtime community activist for the rights of women and children, working locally, nationally and in the United States. Her record of passionate humanitarianism is evident in the many accomplishments she has made since the early 1960s.

      She was a founding member of the Women’s Legal Education Action Fund (LEAF), a founding member of the North Shore Women’s Centre and the Women’s Centre at then-Capilano College, a former president and member-at-large of the Vancouver Status of Women and a former vice-president and member-at-large of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. Rosalie Grills was conferred by Capilano University with an honorary doctorate of laws degree in fall 2010.

      About George Grills:
      George Grills enjoyed a successful career in the management and marketing of information technologies and solutions, spending many years with IBM in the United States, as well as in Canada. He completed his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering at Duke University.

      George has always been active in his community and has served on the board for the Vancouver Playhouse, Vancouver International Wine Festival and the Arts Club Theatre. In his 20s, George volunteered with the Peace Corps and his experiences in the Philippines, in part, have led to his interest and keen support of the Global Stewardship program at Capilano University.

      About Samantha Nutt, MSc, CCFP, FRCPC, LLD:
      Founder and executive director, War Child Canada, Dr. Samantha Nutt (Sam) is a medical doctor with more than 15 years of experience working in war zones.

      Committed to peace, human rights and social justice, she has worked in some of the world's most violent flashpoints with War Child Canada, the United Nations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Darfur, Iraq, Afghanistan, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Burundi, northern Uganda, Ethiopia and the Thai-Burmese border.

      Over the course of her professional career and as the founder and executive director of War Child Canada, Nutt has spearheaded efforts to provide direct humanitarian support and longterm programming to war-affected children and their families, and to promote greater awareness in Canada, concerning the rights of children everywhere.