OTTAWA, October 5, 2019 – A new $2.1 million gift from distinguished alumnus Alex Trebek and Jeopardy! host will allow the University of Ottawa to expand the global reach and impact of the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue.
The donation raises his financial commitment to the University to a total of $9.5 million.
The Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue was created in 2016 as a platform to discuss provocative, timely and constructive ideas on issues that matter to Canadians. This generous gift will allow uOttawa to root it more firmly in the University’s public policy research agenda. The funds will support projects by 12 research institutes and centres working on complex problems facing Canada and the world, such as how to transition to a green economy, prepare for aging societies and build inclusive and durable democracies. New postdoctoral fellows or research associates, known as “Trebek Scholars” will help drive progress on these important issues.
The Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue will help uOttawa showcase its tremendous strengths in public policy and capitalize on its privileged position in a G7 capital.
“The Forum for Dialogue is an essential platform for a university like uOttawa: it provides students with meaningful learning experiences, it encourages discussion and debate, and it showcases the university’s renowned experts and its ideal location in the Canadian capital,” said Mr. Trebek. “It gives students the unique opportunity to grow and learn outside the classroom by listening to some of the most prominent researchers, professionals and dignitaries in Canada, and that is truly important.”
Over the years, Mr. Trebek’s generous gifts have led to the inauguration of the Alex Trebek Alumni Hall and to the Alex Trebek Distinguished Lecture Series in 2015. Two years later, in 2017, his $5 million endowment gave uOttawa the opportunity to establish the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue.
“We are most grateful for the support and the friendship that Alex Trebek has shown the University of Ottawa over the years,” said University of Ottawa President and Vice-Chancellor, Jacques Frémont. “The Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue offers our institution the opportunity to create and cultivate a first-class platform to discuss and debate on important provincial, national and international issues, and his new gift will help bolster the impact that it will have.”
Mr. Trebek earned a degree in philosophy from the University of Ottawa before embarking on a career in broadcasting, covering national news and special events for radio and television. With the growing popularity of game shows, he eventually segued into the role of host of Jeopardy! and quickly became a pop culture icon. In 1996, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa and in 1998, he received the Meritas Tabaret Award for Alumni Achievement, the top award bestowed on alumni by the University.
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