George Melville Reappointed KPU Chancellor

Kwantlen Polytechnic University announced on Oct. 17 that George Melville was appointed the university’s chancellor for another term.

Melville first became chancellor in 2014, with university officials citing his “professional and philanthropic achievements, commitment to community, and valuable service to KPU” as reasons for his selection. Melville’s new term will last until October 2020.

“I’m excited about continuing my deep connection to KPU as chancellor and I look forward to representing our students, faculty, staff, and community supporters,” Melville said in the university’s press release.

Although it is a largely ceremonial title, the chancellor represents the head of the university. They act as an ambassador for KPU and preside over convocation and granting degrees to graduating students. Candidates for the university chancellor position are nominated by the Kwantlen Alumni Association before a final selection is made by the university’s Board, in consultation with its Senate.

As a B.C. born and raised businessman, Melville has been a prominent member of the Metro Vancouver business community for many years. He is a part-owner and founding board member for Lower Mainland-based restaurant chain Boston Pizza, as well as the chairman and owner of T&M Management Services Ltd. He has also supported charitable organisations across Canada including Kids Help Phone and the Rick Hansen Foundation.

Melville sat on KPU’s Board of Directors from 2003 to 2009 and helped oversee its transition from a college to a university. He has made a number of contributions to KPU, including a donation of $500,000 to create the Melville Centre for Dialogue on the Richmond campus in 2012.

Despite his recent involvement in and support of higher education, Melville never attended university himself. Nevertheless, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from KPU in 2013. In 2014, university president Alan Davis told Business in Vancouver that he believed Melville’s involvement with KPU would “raise the profile and raise the expectation for KPU.”

“He understands the struggles that students have, he understands the importance of education and he really believes in Kwantlen Polytechnic University,” Davis said in the interview. “What he brings as a businessman, as a philanthropist, I think is going to help us in all kinds of ways.”