Almost 300 NIC students will receive $1,000 each, thanks to the largest bequeathed gift in NIC Foundation history.
The $285,000 legacy gift came from Allan Duncan Pritchard, who passed away November 28, 2019 at the age of 91.
Pritchard’s family has deep roots in the Comox Valley, where he was born on August 8, 1928, the middle son of Norman and Bessie (nee Jolly) Pritchard.
“I feel extremely honoured to be able to administer my uncle’s estate and fulfill his donations to charities like yours that he believed so strongly in,” said Pritchard’s niece, Sandy Neal. “Uncle Allan was proud of his roots in the Comox Valley and until his death remained unwaveringly dedicated to a life of academics.”
Pritchard grew up in the Comox Valley and considered himself fortunate to have spent his childhood roaming the fields of the Duncan/ Dingwall Sandwick properties, swimming in the warm waters of the Tsolum River and searching for fossils on the banks of the Puntledge River, according to his obituary in the Comox Valley Record.
He earned his Bachelor’s degree at UBC, followed by his Master’s and Doctorate degrees at the University of Toronto. He taught for a brief period at UBC and eventually moved on to serve a 33-year tenure at the U of T teaching 17th century English literature.
“Allan was an accomplished writer, historian, cited expert on architecture, world traveler and philanthropist, but most of all he was a kind and modest man,” stated his obituary.
“In the last few years, he spent many hours pouring over Comox Valley and BC research, always in pursuit of new information, and was so pleased when he came across some obscure interesting facts that he could pass along,” Neal told NIC about her uncle.
Pritchard also made substantial gifts to the Courtenay Museum and the U of T.
“Uncle Allan chose to donate his estate to charities that very accurately represent who he was and what was important to him, his beloved Comox Valley, local history and academics,” Neal said.
The NIC Foundation has been advancing student success, education and community growth through NIC for more than 26 years.
“We are so incredibly grateful and honoured to receive this historic gift,” said Randall Heidt, executive director of the NIC Foundation. “Dr. Allan Pritchard leaves an incredible legacy on Vancouver Island as his generosity will help hundreds of NIC students reach their educational, career and life goals. It’s just a massive impact when you think about it.”
The NIC Foundation supports NIC students through scholarships and bursaries, equips classrooms with current technology and ensures the best possible learning facilities are accessible on the Central and North Island. It envisions a future where every student has the opportunity to pursue post‐secondary education, train for a new career or develop employable skills to support themselves and their families.