Philanthropist leaves legacy

How will we be remembered and who will remember us when we are gone?

To the Editor,

Re: Philanthropist dies at 92, April 22.

Leaving a legacy is a question I think many of us grapple with. How will we be remembered and who will remember us when we are gone?

Last week when the headlines announced Sidney Sharman had passed away, I couldn’t help but wonder if people would understand the profound effect he had, and will continue to have, because of his willingness to give.

I had the pleasure and honour of getting to know Sid personally, because of his generous support of Vancouver Island University students. I also had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the powerful legacy he created through his generosity.

I spoke to nursing students who had received scholarships funded by Sid, who told me they would not have been able to continue in their studies without his support. Some of those students are now working in hospitals on the Island, touching the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people. Those scholarships are funded through an endowment which ensures they will continue even though Sid has now passed.

I’ve also spoken to students in VIU’s Health and Human Services programs who are today training in a state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab, which was also funded in part by Sid. Those students will now be even better prepared to enter their chosen profession.

When I reflect on what Sid is leaving behind, it’s clear that his is a legacy to aspire to, an example of how an act of generosity can affect so many people, sometimes in unexpected and far-reaching ways. By giving to VIU students he not only changed their lives but the lives of the people those students will go on to care for.

He will be sorely missed. However, I know that Sid’s legacy is one that will live on, and be a lasting reminder to all of us that a generous spirit has the power to truly change someone’s life.

Ralph Nilson
president
Vancouver Island University

Just Posted

Historian happily surprised about Morden Mine funding

What took so long for support for restoration work, asks columnist

Lantzville looking to ban beach fires as youths aren’t respecting beaches

Lantzville the only municipality south of Comox Valley that allows beach fires, district staff say

NDSS 50th reunion planned this spring

Organizing committee looking to reach Nanaimo grads from the Class of 1969

Upgrades planned for Gabriola ferry terminal

Plans call for new loading ramp, creation of a vehicle holding area and new terminal building

VIDEO: Duncan-Nanaimo’s Funkanometry bow out of ‘World of Dance’ with ‘After Hours’ routine

Judges praised them as entertainers, and urged them to work a bit more on their dancing

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Earth Day in Nanaimo celebrates the Earth and its inhabitants

Plant a tree, pet a wolf, and see grand opening of Georgia Greenway at Nanaimo Earth Day festival

City of Nanaimo ‘100 per cent’ on board with privacy commissioner recommendations

Council satisfied with how private and confidential information will be handled moving forward

Editorial: Climate change is a good reason to cast a vote

Different choices around climate action and inaction will be on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Fisheries and oceans minister spends Earth Day in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Jonathan Wilkinson in riding to support candidate Michelle Corfield

Climate action can’t be a partisan issue, say Greens

Green Party of Canada celebrated Earth Day early in Nanaimo

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Most Read