2018 Recipients

Bill Levine, Risa Levine, Santa Ono, Jim Pattison, Angela Redish, Linc Kesler

The 2018 recipients of the President’s Medal for Excellence with UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Santa J. Ono: (left to right) Bill Levine, Risa Levine, Santa Ono, Jim Pattison, Angela Redish, and Linc Kesler. (Photo by Paul Joseph, UBC)


Dr. Linc Kesler, BA, MA, PhD
Associate Professor, First Nations and Indigenous Studies, and English
Director, First Nations House of Learning
Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs 

Linc Kesler is originally from Chicago. He graduated from Yale University in English literature, and was awarded a PhD from the University of Toronto, in early modern English literature. After a year teaching in China, he taught at Oregon State for 20 years, before coming to UBC as the inaugural director of the First Nations Studies Program in the Faculty of Arts.

Working with students and others, Linc designed UBC’s First Nations Studies. Later, he co-chaired development of UBC’s Aboriginal Strategic Plan and became the Director of the First Nations House of Learning and Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs. Linc also coordinated the establishment of the recently opened Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at UBC. … /more

Mr. Bill Levine, BA (Hons), MBA
Chair, Western Corporate Enterprises Inc.

Bill Levine is Vancouver born and raised. He earned a BA in economics with honours from UBC in 1963 and immediately attended the Harvard Business School, graduating with an MBA in 1965.

From 1970 to 1986, Bill worked for Daon Development Corporation, first as chief financial officer, and later as president. In 1987, with a partner, he formed Western Corporate Enterprises, a company that invests in private corporations. Bill and his original partner still operate the company today.

Beyond family and career, Bill has served in positions in the Jewish community of Vancouver, and in various roles at UBC, including Chair of the Board of Governors. …/more

The Honourable Risa Levine, BA (Hons), MA, LLB
The Honourable Risa Levine

Risa Levine grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and received her BA and MA in Sociology at the University of Toronto.

After moving to Vancouver with her husband Bill and starting a family, she attended law school at UBC, graduating with the Law Society Gold Medal. She practiced tax law before being appointed a justice of the Supreme Court of BC, and later to the BC Court of Appeal, until her retirement in 2014.

Risa has been active in the community throughout her adult life, including in the Jewish and general non-profit communities and in law-related organizations such as the law school at UBC where she taught as an adjunct professor. …/more

Mr. Jim Pattison
Chairman and CEO, The Jim Pattison Group

Jim Pattison was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He moved with his parents to Vancouver in 1935, where he has lived ever since.  While attending UBC, he paid his tuition by washing cars at a used car lot, and selling cars to fellow students.

Eventually, Jim’s success selling cars led to the formation of The Jim Pattison Group in 1961, with the purchase of a General Motors dealership. Today, the Jim Pattison Group has grown to over $10 billion in annual sales and 45,000 employees, with business interests in more than 85 countries.

Beyond his own company, Jim has served as a director on numerous boards. He was also the volunteer Chair, President and CEO of Expo ’86, Vancouver’s world exposition. …/more

Dr. Angela Redish, BA, MA, PhD
Professor of Economics, Vancouver School of Economics

Angela Redish was born in the UK. She moved with her family to Hamilton, Ontario as a teen, and later graduated from Wilfred Laurier with a BA in Economics. After a 2-year break in Papua New Guinea as a CUSO volunteer, she returned to Canada and earned her PhD at the University of Western Ontario.

Angela began her teaching career as an Assistant Professor of Economics at UBC, where she has stayed ever since. She has been Head of the Economics Department, served as Special Advisor to UBC President Stephen Toope, and later became Vice-Provost and then Provost pro tem, working with President Santa Ono in his first year. …/more