Ever since Martin (Marty) Zlotnik arrived at UBC as a student in 1961 he has been actively engaged in the life of his university and its varsity athletic program. He played for the Thunderbirds football and golf teams in his first year, but for the remainder of his undergraduate years focused his attention on the golf team, including serving as team captain. After his graduation from the Faculty of Commerce in 1966 and the Faculty of Law in 1969, he embarked upon a successful business career, while continuing to actively support the golf team. This commitment ultimately led to him establishing the Thunderbird Golf Society in 1984, which has since raised over $1 million in support of both the men’s and women’s teams.
An influential figure throughout the university and business communities, Marty convinced many friends and colleagues to become similarly involved in raising funds to support full-time coaches and scholarships, thereby contributing significantly to UBC becoming home to Canada’s most successful varsity athletics program, as measured by all-time national championship victories.
In 1998, he became Chair of the UBC Thunderbird Council, an alumni group devoted to developing fundraising strategies for university athletics. At this time he also envisioned and created the Millennium Scholarship Breakfast, which as of 2016 had raised more than $11 million for athletic scholarships, and has been replicated by other Canadian universities. Marty is today recognized and admired throughout the province as a true builder of communities through enhancing opportunities in sport and active living. His leadership has been recognized with numerous awards, including a BC Community Achievement Award in 2009, a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, the 2008 NADD Volunteer of the Year Award, and his 2011 induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Marty’s contributions have also been recognized at UBC through the alumni UBC Blythe Eagles Volunteer Leadership award in 2001, a Great Trekker Award from the Alma Mater Society in 2015, and his induction into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
UBC gratefully acknowledges the following donors for their generous contributions in honour of Martin Zlotnik that helped make the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre possible:
Barrie and Helen Burnham
Ian and Billee Davidson
Andrew and Melanie Graham
Connie Graham & Family
Brian and Clare Sullivan
Garry Zlotnik Family