He has been a member of the UFV Abbotsford Community Council , and played a key role in fundraising and encouraging community support for the establishment of a Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies and a Regional Innovation Chair on Canada–India Economic Development at UFV in the mid-2000s. He was also one of the first donors to UFV’s Peace Studies initiative, and has established the Dhami Family Endowment Leadership award. A frequent observer at UFV Board of Governors meetings, he is keenly engaged with the current and future plans for the university. He also accepts practicum students from the UFV Dental Assisting program and volunteers at that program’s community dental clinic.
Last summer, events in Dhami’s family inspired him to create a new way of supporting his local university. His elderly father, Ram Singh Dhami, was admitted to the Abbotsford Regional Hospital for treatment.
During his father’s stay, Dhami spent each day visiting at his bedside. He observed the excellent care his father received, and was impressed at the professional attention from each of the nursing staff — some of whom were graduates of the UFV Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
To show his deep gratitude for the service provided by the nursing staff, Dr. Dhami decided to establish an endowed fund to provide an annual award to a third-year UFV nursing student who is known for his or her generosity or volunteer/community leadership. This $10,000 gift will support an annual award.
“As I observed the nurses giving such good service to my dad, I wanted to give back somehow,” Dr. Dhami notes. “I decided that the best way would be to create a lasting gift that would help others.”
In allowing his story to be told, Dhami hopes to inspire others to support their local university. And it’s working. Another donor has stepped forward to add a generous gift to the newly created nursing award.
“I believe in supporting UFV because it is a way of giving back to the whole Abbotsford community. A university isn’t a small organization dedicated to just one particular group. Education can benefit every person in our community at every level. When the students graduate they go out and help our community to develop further. And it provides a positive opportunity for all of our youth. Students are at a time in their life when they are in need of support and I am happy to provide it.”
Dhami takes pride in being the first donor to several UFV projects. He was the first donor for the endowed Canada–India Research Chair within the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, and for the Peace and Conflict Studies program establishment. He was the first Indo-Canadian Abbotsford community member to create a family endowment fund (the Dhami Family Endowment Leadership Award, which is not a memorial fund, but rather honours living family members).
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