It is with great sadness that the Community of St. Mark's at UBC (Corpus Christi College, St. Mark's College, and St. Mark's Parish) announces the passing of a long-time supporter of Corpus Christi College, Marian Frances Sylvester, on
March 14, 2017.
Along with husband Dr. Gerald Sylvester, Marian was a
passionate supporter of Catholic higher education and instrumental in the founding of Corpus Christi College.
In the early eighties, when the long-time dream to launch a Catholic liberal arts university in Vancouver began gathering steam, retired educators and supporters of Catholic education began attending planning meetings. Initially held at St. Michael's parish in Burnaby, BC, these 'kitchen table' gatherings soon became a regular occurrence at the Sylvester home.
"For my parents, it was a labour of love," remembers son David. "My Mom was secretary of the group, so she took minutes. She also fed everyone. My Dad was able to offer wisdom from his years of experience at Notre Dame and in higher education in general."
"Sure, everyone thinks Dad started Corpus Christi College at UBC, but we all know it was Mom's endless supply of chicken wings doled out liberally at meetings and networking functions that breathed life into the institution."
By 1996, Corpus Christi College was incorporated and three years later, the College opened its doors to students. Gerry served on the College's first Board, and soon became its first Executive Director. Both Gerry and Marian remained very active supporters of the College.
"Marian Sylvester's life was a testimony to the important values of family, education and service to others," remarked Dr. Peter Meehan, President of Corpus Christi College. "These are values that inspired her and her husband Gerry and their friends and colleagues in the Catholic community to create Corpus Christi College more than twenty years ago. With her passing our community has lost one of its most important inspirations and founders."
To honour and recognize their parents' passion for Catholic higher education and their tireless support of Corpus Christ College, the Sylvester siblings endowed a scholarship fund in their parents' names in 2013.
Funeral Service details:
Sunday, March 19th, 2017, 3:00pm
St. Mark's College Chapel
5935 Iona Drive
The Dr. Gerald And Marian Sylvester Social Justice Award
Corpus Christi College's social justice programs, rooted in Catholic social justice teaching, are an essential part of a Catholic university education because they link the classroom with the real world. They are signature programs at the College, and attract well-rounded, gifted students who want to make a difference for the Church and for society. The Dr. Gerald and Marian Sylvester Social Justice Award was designed to assist these students in their studies. Established in 2013 by a donation from Dr. David Sylvester and Dr. Allyson Larkin, the Sylvester family, and other supporters, the award honours Dr. Gerald and Marian Sylvester and recognizes their commitment to Catholic higher education and social justice. Chosen recipients demonstrate a commitment to Catholic social teaching in their studies, and leadership in the promotion of justice within the College and wider community. Find out more