Bill and Risa Levine


By Pamela Yan

Bill and Risa Levine are among UBC’s most distinguished alumni. The university is privileged to honour them for their leadership gift to the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre and for Bill’s active role in leading the campaign to secure the funds that made the centre possible.

A Vancouver native, Bill graduated from UBC with a BA in 1963, and from Harvard Business School with a MBA in 1965. He had a successful career in real estate development as a senior officer and a director of Daon Development Corporation. He then became a founding shareholder and chair of Western Corporate Enterprises Inc., a private equity investment firm.

Bill married Risa Gropper, a native of Saskatoon, in 1967, and their daughters, Sarah and Anna, were born in 1970 and 1971.

After completing a BA and an MA in sociology at the University of Toronto, Risa enrolled in UBC’s law school where she was awarded the Law Society Gold Medal for the highest scholastic standing in her 1977 graduating class. She practiced taxation law for 17 years before she was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1995. In 2001, she was appointed to the court of appeal for British Columbia where she served until her retirement in 2014.

Bill and Risa are active community leaders who have contributed to the health and prosperity of British Columbia through their service to and support of advanced education, the Jewish community, and many other organizations, including UBC.

Bill served on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Sauder School of Business and also for the Faculty of Arts. He joined the Board of Governors in 2007 and served as its chair from 2010 to 2013. Risa served as an adjunct professor at UBC’s law school, a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the Centre for Business Law and chair of the successful fundraising campaign to endow a chair in feminist legal studies, the first of its kind in Canada.


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