As a man of “firsts,” Dr. Malwinder Dhami is no stranger to taking the lead role in his philanthropic giving. Dr. Dhami is a keen supporter of the University of the Fraser Valley and recently established his first endowment, the Dhami Family Endowment Leadership Award. This is the first UFV endowment established by an Indo-Canadian family, and it is from a family that is well known within the local community for its high regard for education and love of UFV.
Dr. Dhami is an ideal friend for UFV: his warmth and friendly nature is particularly noted at the public sessions of the Board meetings, where he is a frequent attendee. Dr. Dhami’s original ideas and eagerness to make a positive impact in students’ lives is a shining star of encouragement and support for UFV’s University Advancement team.
“The University of the Fraser Valley is deeply grateful for our long-time friendship and support from Dr. Dhami,” says Hilary Beard, director of university advancement. “From his generous financial support in early 2003 and active participation in development of the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, to his latest family endowment, we at UFV acknowledge Dr. Dhami’s unwavering support and generosity with deep appreciation and thanksgiving for one of our finest neighbours and friends. Dr. Dhami is sharing his story to encourage others to also give…so that each person can share in changing lives and building the community’s future here at UFV.”
From Dr. Dhami’s perspective, giving is natural and simply a way of life. He has found satisfaction in helping others, and is well known in UFV’s Dental Assistant program for extending a helping hand through his openness to students in assisting them gain valuable hours in his professional dental practice in Abbotsford. In a recent visit to UFV’s Dental Clinic, Dr. Dhami selflessly agreed to give a day of his time to help screen children, so they are permitted to be examined by the students.
“I am always so warmly greeted by UFV President Mark Evered — often it is a hug — and by all the staff and faculty at the university. Whenever I attend Board meetings, I am greeted like a friend,” he says. In addition to extending an on-going helping hand to individual students, Dr. Dhami was influential in the establishment of the Centre for Indo Canadian Studies at UFV. He warmly reminisces on bringing the first donation to the university’s then-president, Skip Bassford: this gift was to kick off the fundraising to establish the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies and was a catalyst for others in the community to stand behind the Center’s vision with their financial support. Dr. Dhami has served on the CICS Advisory Council since its inception.
Dr. Dhami was also the first donor to the development of the Peace and Conflict Studies program at the university in September 2012. And part of Dr. Dhami’s recent giving includes a symbol to represent ongoing giving: his endowment is $25,001 that extra dollar is the first step to continuous growth.
“I know that Dr. Dhami’s generosity, his personal investment in the future of others, is driven by his gratitude to those who helped him”, added UFV President Dr. Mark Evered. “I am deeply and personally inspired by his visionary leadership, volunteer service, financial support and especially his friendship.”